The Charles Bukowski Museum? (1 Viewer)

I just got a copy of the September 14th issue of Pasadena Weekly which featured an article about the Huntington Library acquisition and an interview with Linda. In it, she states, "The Charles Bukowski Foundation will continue after I leave this world, and our home here in San Pedro is going to be a museum." Does anyone have any further information on this? Is this even a good idea? Would Buk approve or puke?
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Hi,
Linda is very concerned that Hank's work lives on. This is true that she is planning on making the house into a museum.

This has been in the works for some time.

Best,
Bill
 

SamDusky

Founding member
Let's face it; he would love the idea. He would laugh his ass off that he is finally getting his recognition as the premier author of the 20th century. (And don't anyone contradict me; you wouldn't like it if I got riled up).
 
that's interesting...
be a TOUGH sell to the guy living next door in 'quiet' San Pedro. Not sure if you own the house next to the Bukowski's you want line-ups and obnoxious goofs chanting; TO ALL MY FRIENDS!!!
 

mjp

Founding member
That's interesting, because a few months ago I told Linda that I had read mention of a "Bukowski Museum" in some Dullaghan interview, and she looked at me like I was out of my mind and muttered, "no, no..." I didn't press the issue, so I don't know if she was "no no"ing the museum itself, or a Dullaghan connection, or maybe she just wanted me to shut up in general. ;)

But no, that area of San Pedro is not exactly a prime spot for a tourist attraction. I'm sure it would be a "by appointment only" sort of thing, but I can't imagine that publicizing the address is going to please the neighbors.
 

chronic

old and in the way
G

grayxray

Museum? Why? His works live on and that is a museum enough. Also what would you put in the museum, old shirts? Empty beer bottles? Old used cigs? Pictures of the chicks he did? Or signs that point to bed he did them on. Maybe some of his paintings if you can find them. If you want to get close to buk go to his grave and just sit and think. Very relaxing! If you want to honor buk get others to read his works and get those people to pass it on, and on and on. This is how to best remember buk.What if you gave a museum and nobody came? Better yet, how about a bumper sticker - "I would rather be reading Buk". Maybe this website is the best tribute. And this is just my opinion and I do not mean to offend anybody.
 

ClassIntellectual

Founding member
Museum? Why? His works live on and that is a museum enough.

You're completely right. None of us can truly claim to know what B would think, but I'm pretty sure he would detest the idea of a museum in his honor. Then again, he did become slightly more accustomed to dealing with fame in his later life, as long as he didn't have to directly deal with people.

Anywho, I think a B museum should be no more than a library of his collected works, along with a reading room and a fully-stocked fridge...
 
Let's face it; he would love the idea. He would laugh his ass off that he is finally getting his recognition as the premier author of the 20th century. (And don't anyone contradict me; you wouldn't like it if I got riled up).
I agree. No matter the rough exterior he loved the praise.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
The Martin quote is very interesting, where he says he never saw Bukowski drunk, never saw him raise his voice or get angry. I find that amazing, especially the drunk part. Bukowski must have been on his best behavior for John. Funny, that there was a side of Hank -- a well known side -- that Martin never saw. I've heard about the kind and gentle side from a few people, but I'm guessing more have seen him drunk and pissed off than kind and gentle.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
hi david -

nymark said:
It also goes to show that Bukowski was instrumental in forging his own myth. John Martin has told me on many occasions that he RARELY saw Bukowski drunk! He points out, correctly, that someone as soused as he purported to be could never produce the thousands stories, poems and letters AND hold down a series of physically demanding jobs.

didn't martin rarely see bukowski - sober or drunk?
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Right. I gather that the relationship was all business as far as Bukowski was concerned. John Martin was his editor and publisher, not his buddy. So you don't hear the drinking stories from Martin. It must have been strange for Martin, knowing that there was that other side of Bukowski -- the raging drunk -- and never seeing it firsthand. Not witnessing it, he may have assumed it was an exaggeration, that Buk wasn't that much of a mad man, not to the degree that was claimed. It's a shame that Martin has vowed never to write about Bukowski. I think that would be a fascinating book, even if it only addressed one side of Bukowski's personality -- a side that was seldom seen by his readers and fans.
 
can't agree more...
i've read enough and find re-reading about boozing over and over again tiresome. Buk was obviously also a smart businessman. He kept his money, signed strong foreign deals for translations. The inner dealings he had with John would be a far more interesting story. The myth/legend of his WILD side are ESTABLISHED, be nice to see other sides of his self and personality.
Also, what about a LINDA bio?? Where does she stand on this? That's another BIO you'd want to read... Also how about a NEELI bio... oh wait we had that and it STUNK!
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I think Linda could say plenty in a tell-all book or interview, but I would be very surprised if she did that. Why should she? She doesn't need the money or the attention. Her situation is good as is -- why muck it up?
 
Pardon me, but do you mean Linda King or the widow Bukowski? We DEFINITELY need to hear from King, but Linda B. has had her say.

I believe that Linda B. would LOVE more attention lavished on her. We all owe her a deep debt of thanks for extending Bukowski's life. Surely, he would have succumbed much earlier if she had not cleaned him up a bit (better booze and a better diet). But methinks she is taking a page from the Tess Gallagher book of literary widows. Does anyone think it's odd that although Dulligan interviewed Linda King, NONE of her material found its way into either the theatrical version or DVD release? Eh? I wonder who might have OBJECTED to Linda King's appearance who had the AUTHORITY to exclude her testimony? I'll bet the most revealing footage is on the cutting room floor. Do you think that Bukowski sat around his living room discussing a goddamn MUSEUM to HIMSELF?! I wonder where that crazy idea came from...?
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
mymark: good question, good points. I meant Linda B. Linda King would have plenty to say. She has not been heard from enough, in my opinion. Maybe I'm all wet, but I don't sense Linda Bukowski is itching for attention. She gets plenty of it just for being the widow and overseeing the estate. The money rolls in, she protects the rights and the reputation. The Huntington gift has brought her some very high class notice. She doesn't seem to be looking for more. I bet she did have a lot of say over what went into BORN INTO THIS and what didn't. I need to watch that film again. Santa better have it in his bag tonight.
 

mjp

Founding member
Do you think that Bukowski sat around his living room discussing a goddamn MUSEUM to HIMSELF?! I wonder where that crazy idea came from...?
I think it came from Dullaghan, actually.

Giving all of Bukowski's shit to the Huntington seems to be at cross purposes with a museum in San Pedro, though, so I don't know if this is going to really happen.
 

mjp

Founding member
When did you first read about it? The Dullaghan connection I'm thinking of is from several years ago, before Born Into This came out. I'll try to find it.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Does anyone think it's odd that although Dulligan interviewed Linda King, NONE of her material found its way into either the theatrical version or DVD release? Eh?

YOU BET! - Especially since she played a much bigger role in Buk's life than some of the women portrayed in BIT...
 
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Museum? Why? His works live on and that is a museum enough. Also what would you put in the museum, old shirts? Empty beer bottles? Old used cigs? Pictures of the chicks he did? Or signs that point to bed he did them on. Maybe some of his paintings if you can find them. If you want to get close to buk go to his grave and just sit and think. Very relaxing! If you want to honor buk get others to read his works and get those people to pass it on, and on and on. This is how to best remember buk.What if you gave a museum and nobody came? Better yet, how about a bumper sticker - "I would rather be reading Buk". Maybe this website is the best tribute. And this is just my opinion and I do not mean to offend anybody.

I would tend to agree; and the neighborhood the house is in would most likely need to be zoned for it... And no offense to anyone, especially SD!, but I'm not sure Bukowski would have been entirely thrilled with the idea. He had trouble enough getting rid of the pests, the drunken guys with six-packs, who used to show up unexpectedly on his doorstep and he had to put his foot in the doorjamb. I'm not convinced that every one of Buk's readers is entirely sane, judging from my own experience, lol, when they exaggerate the flagrant excesses of their own behavior but without Bukowski's talent, and I would not wish a replay for Ms. Bukowski, her desire to protect or promote her husband's legacy aside.

Plus"”and this is just a surmise as an outsider"”this museum project, beneath the surface, may be a way for Linda to remain close to Hank's memory in a way that I'm not exactly sure would be healthy for anyone, except someone living in a mansion. I believe she has left Bukowski's writing room intact since he died. To turn the entire house into a museum of his material artifacts (reading glasses, pens, etc.), except perhaps examples of his original manuscripts under glass, and open it to the general public"”strikes me"”forgive me"”as somewhat excessive, perhaps morbid, even trivial, and possibly unhealthy in the long-run for her emotional well-being unless she"”and please don't anyone take offense at this"”unless she decides to become a professional widow like maybe the wife of composer Robert Schumann, who outlived her famous husband by 40 years and wore black.

The way I see it is that Bukowski's output and reputation as an author is just about bullet proof. He showed the absolute worst of himself in print and probably died a millionaire from sales, or close to it. As long as his books are in print, I doubt whether his legacy will die, particularly so because the definitive Bukowski movie, either about Bukowski or one of his stories, has yet to be made; but when the next one comes along, more new readers will take an interest in the honesty of his works and get involved with the read... What remains to be done is a thorough evaluation, an appreciative evaluation of his best works. While I enjoyed reading the "Fuck Machine," I view that as a story Bukowski may have written to pay the bloody rent, and it's a far cry from "The Most Beautiful Women in Town," which I find to be one of his most hauntingly beautiful and memorable stories... So there's a wide range of subject matter, and perhaps in the quality of some of his works; and if Linda wants to help move his legacy along, she could continue working with researchers or scholars in this sorting out process... In the meantime, she'll probably never have to work another day in her life, thanks to her husband's generosity, loyalty and genius, and she probably still has some of her own living to do. I hope so... It's too bad too that she seems to have no active interest or presence on this forum. What readers have ever looked after an author's legacy as much as the members do here, whether it's bootlegs, ripped off videos and dvds, fake signatures, you name it?"”and it's not all about the money; it's about giving something back in gratitude to the man for, at lease to me, all that I gained through his artistic genius. He hasn't been dead but for 15 years, and the public's interest in Bukowski as a man and writer seems to be greater than ever, and growing. If Mrs. Bukowski has information that her husband's sales have dropped off dramatically, or that his legacy is being threatened, I hope she will somehow share this information directly or indirectly through one of her contacts on this forum. I would be surprised indeed if that were the case. From what I can tell, Charles Bukowski is selling, and what better way to preserve his legacy than through his countless and exceptional poems, stories, novels and letters? "”Poptop.
 
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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Great post, poptop! - I have a small comment. If memory serves, I think the Buk museum was to be established after Linda B's death. She said something along those lines in an interview. There's a link to the interview somewhere in the forum, I believe...
 
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i think a large number of fans would love to visit the place (myself not included) and who cares whether or not bukowski would approve he's dead, for chrisake regardless, it's arrogant of anyone to think they could know how he would feel about it i think it's more appropriate to consider the neighbor's feelings
 
I can (like everybody) talk for myself only, and this is: I've been to many museums and exhibitions on interesting people (painters, writers, musicians, philosophers) and am always very very happy when this is properly done and am always disappointed when not. But, yeah, I like to see good work done to honor someone I love.

Obviously the house in San Pedro suggests itself for being such a place. (And of course NOT while Linda is still living there!) And obviously there Would occur a problem for the close neighborhood, which is a strong point. (see Jim Morrisons grave in Paris)
(btw: I'm surprised, that the address in San Pedro seems to be fairly unknown in the US.)

There's a lot to balance before deciding this.

I understood the donation to Hunting as an effort of Linda to keep the heritage alive with-out having to make a museum on her own. But maybe I'm wrong and she still plans to do it. I'd appreciate that.

One little anecdote: seven or eight years ago, two members of the Buk-society (Falko Hennig and Ben Lauterbach) were at Lindas place, sitting around, talking (and, yes, drinking also included) and it was a real peak to them, when during this evening, they were allowed to go upstairs and have a look into THE room.
- and I can totally understand these feelings. It would be a goodam thrill to me too. I'd shiver. And don't be smartasses now, telling me, it's only a room! I know this myself.

 
You know I may be wrong and have been a number of times here and elsewhere but if we are discussing museums and particularly a Buk museum the only museum that makes sense would be one of a mobile variety. A mobile museum where buk stuff can go from city to city or campus to campus.
For years people have said poetry is static and dull and a one location museum falls into that same trap.
The reason this serve is interesting and vibrant is that its interactive. I see no reason why a few thoughts outside the box couldn't make the idea of a mobile museum a better vehicle to educate the public.

Now I have no idea if the curator would be the driver too-but that would be one hell of a job!
 
Born into this; Is it available on anything but region 1? I can't find a copy to play in the UK anywhere. As for the museum...I like the idea of a collection of his works, a reading room and a fridge full of beer. Anymore would have buk turning in his grave. It was/is all about the moment, getting that moment down on paper, a life choice. Keep the Mecca in his work not in some surburban dwelling. But what the fuck do I know?
 
just in short b/c this needs a new thread:

as far as I know, there's an Australian and a French version on DVD already. Swiss TV broadcasted a shorter version of it (about 1h).
Also, when I had a short email-contact to Dullaghan 2 years ago, he intended to make a German version. Ain't sure if he's still on it.
 

chronic

old and in the way
A mobile museum where buk stuff can go from city to city or campus to campus.

Or a mobile museum that goes from bar to bar and to whatever racetrack is open. It should rarely leave the L.A. basin. It could be in two vehicles... a beat up old VW bug with a cracked windshield for the early stuff and a 89 BMW for the later period.

:)
 
The thing is that even though he didn't want to spend time messing around with people instead of getting it down, he did. He spent the time and he wrote poems about that time and those folk. He couldn't avoid it because even though he didn't want it he didn't not want it badly enough to leave it forever. It's not like he became a hermit. He hung out actually. And he even hung out with his chinas when he wasn't with them, check all the letters. He loved all those people that he hated. Maybe you could have a museum that has a 'keep out' sign on the door. Or something more rude. It should be an experience. I love this forum.
 

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