Silly Question (1 Viewer)

What chapter in Factotum is the line:
"My ambition is handicapped by my laziness"?

I just finished the book, which I absolutely loved. I remember the quote, but I'm driving myself mad trying to find it.

P.S.-I've just been turned on to Bukowski and love his writing. I picked up Post Office when I was halfway through Factotum. I think I'm going to pick up Pulp next. Does anyone have any other recommendations as to which of his books of poetry would be best for a newbie to pick-up?
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I'd save PULP for much later. Try SOUTH OF NO NORTH, THE DAYS RUN AWAY LIKE WILD HORSES OVER THE HILLS, MOCKINGBIRD WISH ME LUCK, WOMEN, HAM ON RYE...all those classics first, then PULP.
 

justine

stop the penistry
What chapter in Factotum is the line:
"My ambition is handicapped by my laziness"?
it's one of my favourites too. i think it's about halfway through, he's with Jan and working at an auto-parts warehouse, where he meets Manny, the guy who he qoutes.
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
In fact, if you took your copy of PULP and set it on fire, you wouldn't be any poorer for it.

what a very stupid remark from one of our best members.

wow, i didnt know you were capable of such things.
Pulp is fucking amazing.
in fact, it's probably my favorite.
 
what a very stupid remark from one of our best members.
Sorry, but I call 'em as I see 'em. Never buy into something (a political ideology, an author's work, a religious belief, etc.) so deeply that you are reluctant to criticize it. Before you know it, your Fox News and you refuse to point a finger at the guilty. I love Bukowski's work, but I'm afraid that PULP stinks very badly.
 
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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
In fact, if you took your copy of PULP and set it on fire, you wouldn't be any poorer for it.

Oh yes, you would! Toilet paper is expensive nowadays. Just ask Uncle Scrooge...:D

Kidding aside. Of course it's not as good as the rest of the novels, but it does have some funny dialoque here and there, I think...
 
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mjp

Founding member
I think Pulp was doomed from conception. The idea of it stinks, and it's difficult to wrap a masterpiece - or even a readable book - around a shitty idea.

It's also the longest sustained piece of imagination that he had to pull off. He could write short stories that didn't have a scrap of reality to them, but I think he faltered when he had to dream up 200 pages. You can see in his letters from the period that he was stalling with the book, and taking a long time to finish it.

I think Pulp would have been better left in the Huntington collection as an unfinished manuscript, but what can you do.

A lot of people seem to pick up Pulp early in their Bukowski reading "careers" these days. There must be a lot of copies out there.
 

justine

stop the penistry
having read Factotum, Post Office and Hollywood, i was warned to leave Pulp for awhile. but i already had it, so i gave it a go... didn't get very far before i got distracted by other books. it's not so much that i think it's bad, but rather that the subject matter and the style don't really appeal to me.

similarly, i read Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint" after having read "American Pastoral": the two books are entirely different (both in style and subject), and i didn't enjoy Portnoy anywhere near as much as the 2nd.

p.s. i'm halfway through South of No North, not sure how i feel about it just yet, i need to go back and re-read.
 
A lot of people seem to pick up Pulp early in their Bukowski reading "careers" these days. There must be a lot of copies out there.

It's all about the revolver. The only reason I've stayed away from it is because no one ever talks about it. Like Todd from Wedding Crashers.
 

ROC

It is what it is
I'm with you HenryChinaski.
Pulp was a fitting farewell, full of gentle humor and nods to his own literary/lifes past.
I found it engaging, cute and eminently readable.

Of course everyone who disagrees is just plain wrong ;)
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
I'm with you guys! Pulp is not all that bad as some people seems to think. Of course it's quite different from the rest of the novels and it may not be his best novel, but I think It has many funny scenes all the same. I like the ending with the red sparrow swallowing him up in a blaze of yellow, his favourite colour.
Neeli Cherkovski wasn't all wrong when he says in BIT that Buk made his own impending death into art...
 
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Hello! New member from argentina.
I agree with henrychinaski, Pulp is one of the best works of buko, for the rest of you, maybe the third time you read it, you will enjoy it. Lot of funny dialogues, and a lot of buk's ideas on it.
 
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After reading PULP I thought hoped that BUK wrote PULP as one last F.U to critics and to fans. Written or coneived in the same vain as The Wall, Won't Get Fooled Again perhaps the Johnny Rotten quote "Ever thought that you've been had" mentality.
While the above may have had disillusion as their basis, I can imagine PULP written with a sense of irony. He had reached Star status and knew this status would sell PULP much more than the writing itself-something he always seemed to find anathemic in his (better) writing.

That or he was sick and tired and just missd the mark. I prefer the above theory. It keeps my perception of Buk intact ...and just may be true
 

justine

stop the penistry
i sat down last night and read Pulp from start to finish. i agree with you Jimmy Snerp; the novel is effortless, as though he sat down and banged it out, but there is some incredibly funny dialogue. the way his uses detective/pulp fiction cliches in long dialogue sequences (esp. with Jack Bass and Grovers) to show how ridiculous and illogical they actually sound is great. but in order to be really successful at parody, the imitation itself has to be of artistic value. i think buk does achieve that to a certain extent; the dialogue is funny but realistic and not overworked.

i definitely got the impression throughout the book (the dedication explicitly states it) that buk was making a point about the audience's lack of discretion when it comes to celebrity. jesus, i'm guilty - as a dedicated Smashing Pumpkins fan, i thought Zwan's one and only album was great when it first came out. it's only recently that i've awoken to the fact that it's actually pretty crap. :eek:
 

justine

stop the penistry
we'll see....
the whole "the pumpkins are reuniting" seems to be a bit of hoax really, since it seems that it's just Billy and Jimmy Chamberlin. like i said, i've been a fan since i was 13, and i've never quite got over the crush-like feeling i had towards their music as an angsty teenager. i'll buy and to listen to what ever they put - crap or quality!! :o
 
C

Composer

I didn't read any of his novels until after I had read maybe 10 books of his poetry. I guess it's almost all true, more or less, but the poems are little gems, and the novels kind of tie everything together.
 

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