Twenty years ago I saw this article in "Politika" (The Politics), the leading Serbian newspaper:
Charles Bukowski has died
San Pedro, March 10 (Associated Press)
France (?) Smith, a mother of his daughter, announced that Charles Bukowski, an American poet and novelist, died of leukemia at 73.
Born as Henry Chinaski (sic!), Bukowski descended from Russian immigrants (!). It's worth noting his novels, translated also in our language:
"The Prodigal Son" (Ham on Rye), Notes of a Dirty Old Man (!), Tales of Ordinary Madness (!), Women, Post Office and Factotum.
about the poems... John Bennett says:
"they electrified me, they set me dancing about my garret room so that my four-year-old son broke into laughter and began dancing with me, they clarified and verified what remained of my childhood perceptions that I was desperately and intuitively trying to hang on to (the good, the pure, the accurate and preconception-free small child perceptions that get pounded out of existence in most of us at an early age)."
reading this was so good that now I am running out of this room to paint like a fool.
My best friend at the time called me and told me over the phone. I was surprised at how serious he was as if he wanted to take it easy on me. It was night time. I was stunned and I didn't know how to react. We talked about Buk for a while and then hung up. It wasn't until later that it started to creep up on me and then I started to realize what a total tragedy it was. That weekend I got good and drunk while re-reading the few books I had. It was then that I went on a multi year reading binge on Buk and developed a deep love for him.
I was in my first Buk reading/collecting phase and wasn't shocked because I knew he had been ill, but was really saddened. I went to see Red a couple days later and shot the shit for awhile. I was 28, and Bukowski is someone I actually still think about daily, 23 years later. I think I bought a couple of L.A. Times for his obit.