The New Generation of Buk readers (1 Viewer)

I was in the bookstore yesterday going through their crummy selection when a young teen: sporty looking, bottle water in hand, swim team shirt,etc. asked an employee if they had any Bukowski.

i laughed out loud. and walked out appalled by this "sport-o" looking for beloved Buk.

i realize that fresh new people will be introduced to Buk whether it be through mainstream (sadly, the Modest Mouse song "Bukowski") or from word of mouth. but does anyone else feel that holding onto someone like Bukowski as a favorite writer for years and then having it taken away by a new generation just feels degrading, and maybe prideful?
i know that my pride hits hard when someone mentioned to me "hey, i'm reading a "Buk" book that i saw you were reading currently on your blog." And i couldn't muster up the guts to tell them, Buk is not the last name, but nickname and to try again or walk away...
 
there were always lots of people who think hank is just some machoPornoWriter and read him therefore.
They generally never get behind the obvious.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
When you are interested in anything that seems a little bit alternative, cult, exclusive or just down right unpopular, there's always the slim chance that a movie will come out about it/them/him/her or a rock star will wear a cheap bootleg t-shirt of her/him/them/whatever and then you're suddenly in with the incrowd.

This doesn't take anything away from Bukowski for me.

Despite the recent trend on ebay I'm sure we'll be seeing prices for rare items going up again soon. Or if not the rare items, the plain everyday items might just leap up again, just like TMF first appeared and started buying anything and everything twice...

Look on the bright side... you know where its at!

Maybe I'll tell my kids - 'Hey, I'm with it!' :cool:
 
irony

Your post reminded me of the feeling I had when Modest Mouse became popular after I had been listening to them for years. My friends would cringe every time they came into the car and I would have them on the radio. Now every time I get into their cars I cringe when I hear a modest mouse song on their raido. It just dosent seem right.

Two different thoughts with identical subjects.
crazy:eek:
 

mjp

Founding member
Get used to it. Bukowski is only going to become more popular as time goes on. A new generation will "discover" him every 20 years, and that's great.

Think about it - most of us are probably second or even third generation fans. Raise your hand if you were reading his poems in the 1940's...yeah, that's what I thought. ;)
 
I think it's great if anybody is checking out Bukowski and it's even better if it's someone who doesn't look like they'd ask for him. Just goes to show the times are changing and the mainstream is becoming more accepting to non-mainstream ideas. I grew up in punk music and I'm glad that kids are listening to punk, even watered down than the pure pop trash around.

As much as I disliked the movie Factotum if it gets a few people to check out Bukowski I'm all for it, weather they get him or not it can only do them good.
 
:( Um, I'm 17. So I guess that's me you're talking about...

But I'm not a sportsfreak. If anything, I'm a stereotypical bookwork-type, which is what I'd expect more Bukowski fans to be, honestly.

I'm also a girl, which is also apparently a rarity.
 

SamDusky

Founding member
All I can say is, young lady, welcome. I think I speak on behalf of Bukowski?s ghost and myself when I say he loved to have women who read around, that is, come around and say hello. And, from the few words you have written, I can see you are a person of taste and discernment. So (and I pretty sure you?re not a 46 year old male pipefitter from Detroit, but if you are?what the hell, why not) don?t let the curmudgeons around here put you off; we?re all Bozos on this bus, so welcome again. Happy to have you aboard.

SD
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
people...bukowski isnt getting famous because of any of the modest mouse songs, "bukowski" or "long distance drunk".

Anybody can read him. the people who want to delve into his depths are the ones that will become more knowledgeable than others. thats all.
 

mjp

Founding member
I'm also a girl, which is also apparently a rarity.
Less common, but not a rarity.

I posted the other day about a guy I work with who is just discovering Bukowski, and it was his new girlfriend who turned him onto him.

I also first heard of Bukowski through a female friend, so you're not alone.
 
I came across Bukowski by complete chance...without knowing a thing about him...he was completely new to me...proably aroudn 1999/2000 someone sent me a poem of his via Yahoo Chat (how postmodern!) it was 'for jane' and I was taken by a few of the lines...I went out and bought - What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire - and from the moment on I have been a Student of his...
 

thebluesman

Founding member
I'm nineteen and have been reading him for a solid two years now. I discovered him through a friend who found him in his step-dad's book collection. I still remember the first Buk poem I ever read, "So you want to be a writer?" from Sifting... I have never been the same.

Bukowski has probably taught me more than any one.

I can say that I apprieciate him at least as much as any of you "2nd or 3rd generation" Buk fans.
 

1fsh2fsh

I think that I think too much
Founding member
I can remember well, (maybe not really well) the late sixteys when alot of "our" anti-establishment/counterculture/peoples bands were discovered by the dreaded straight kids,the (ugh) mainstream. always felt like something was lost or stolen. a slight bruise to the ego, thinking that "we" knew something that "they" didn't. now i recently heard the airplanes "volunteers" (maybe the most blantant anti-establishment song.) used in a investment companys commercial. now thats real blasphemy! (they'll never use the MC5 !) and so now goes it with "our" Bukowski (sigh). and no, i havent been reading buk since the 40's, but since the mid seventys, probably longer than many members have been alive, and i guess maybe that doesn't mean shit, but if i could ask one thing of all the "new" bukowski fans it would be this: if your truley interested in Buk, take some time, make an effort to learn about Bukowski as a person, look into his life history, you will see a deeper more profound side to the words he wrote, real passion and compassion from a dark genius. and if your interested in buk cause some hollywood asshole convinced your shallow small easily duped little brain that this is the thing to do this season,do us all a favor, please quit now, get the fuck out, you wont understand anyway, "dont try".....uh,...thanks.......(sure,yr boy)
 
You really should do something more constructive with your life...
I work a job.

I write for various small time magazines and write poetry ever chance i can.

You're right, I should do something more constructive with my life - I'm working hard on it (but this has nothing to do with bukowski).

I am a student of his. I read his books and listen to he writes.But I don't worship him as a diety. :)
 
I was in the bookstore yesterday...

One question;
Who really cares what 'another' likes, reads, listens to...?
Hopefully as an individual, you read/purchase what you enjoy, want. I don't care if the person I dislike the most on the face of the earth buys or asks me for info on BUK. BUKOWSKI is not, has not yet become an exclusive club (and if it does, I want out!). There are lemmings who will be told FACTOTUM is amazing you should watch it and buy the book, and they do (who cares?!). Then there are others who will 'want more', begin to wonder what Notes of a Dirty Old Man or Bukowski.net is...
Laughing out-loud and being annoyed by sport-o is more a negative reflection on yourself then some stranger that should not even be on your radar.
 
All I can say is, young lady, welcome. I think I speak on behalf of Bukowski?s ghost and myself when I say he loved to have women who read around, that is, come around and say hello. And, from the few words you have written, I can see you are a person of taste and discernment. So (and I pretty sure you?re not a 46 year old male pipefitter from Detroit, but if you are?what the hell, why not) don?t let the curmudgeons around here put you off; we?re all Bozos on this bus, so welcome again. Happy to have you aboard.

SD

Thank you, fwiend. :)

I do think a lot of "new" fans are popping up all over the place. You can't just blame the music and movies that Bukowski's name appears in, though; a lot of people won't approve of the themes in his writing.
 

Melissa Sue

Founding member
short answer - it's good art. it will stick to every generation.

doesn't every artist want their voice to continue? immortality. i want to paint something that sticks like a buk poem.
 
Well. That anyone actually agrees with SlowPlay here is what appalls me. You judge people by what they wear? Bukowski would laugh right in your face.

So what if he's sporting a swimming tee? So what if he is under forty years old? You only judge people by what they DO. If the guy wanted Bukowski that makes him a decent chap or at least on a good way there in my book.

Those people wanting Buk to stay underground really grinds my gears. I mean, the more people reading Buk, the more money Linda will be making. And good for her, she was a good woman to the man.

Also, more people reading Buk is a sign that people are getting better and more insightful than before. I for one is simply happy that people turn to Bukowski, Burroughs, London, Palauchnik (I never spell that right) etc. People reading quality stuff= better society.
 
The Last Laugh

....does anyone else feel that holding onto someone like Bukowski as a favorite writer for years and then having it taken away by a new generation just feels degrading, and maybe prideful?....

The way I see it, optimist that I am, is that some of these people may be the ones who need or benefit from Bukowski the most: to see how the other half lives. Though I understand what you mean, I think Bukowski is not something that can be taken away. If you get deeply enough into the material, it becomes part of you and its beneficial effects become impervious to rot, mildew, or theft. On the other hand, if readers are approaching Buk's stuff only because it's fashionable, they'll soon fall by the wayside, or so I believe. What I feel to be the important thing is that as many of his book titles stay in print as possible so I don't feel cut off at a future time... Some of these new readers might also catch on and realize that Bukowski is talking about them, and not as a complement. Riches and advantages are not enough to innoculate anyone from the black swan of human misery burning in the hinterlands.
 
I remember when some Bukowski fans got upset about Axl Rose wearing a Buk t-shirt and getting that crowd into the books. It might be a natural tendency to want to keep 'cool' stuff to yourself, but really, the more readers a writer can get the better.
 
We should be saying that its more people from every generation that are becoming interested in Buk. In college Lit. and Eng. and Adv. Writing, I never remember hearing about Buk- or reading him. So I think the people that pick him up are either by word of mouth or something they stumbled into which makes them more of an elite base of fans.
 
now i recently heard the airplanes "volunteers" (maybe the most blantant anti-establishment song.) used in a investment companys commercial. now thats real blasphemy! (they'll never use the MC5 !)

There was a jeans commercial (American Eagle?) with a bunch of young people standing in the sun and waving an American flag to "Fortunate Son." They cut it off right before Fogerty sings, "It aint me."

There was also a politician doing a rally with "Born in the USA" as a backdrop. Funny isn't it?

penelope5683 said:
We should be saying that its more people from every generation that are becoming interested in Buk. In college Lit. and Eng. and Adv. Writing, I never remember hearing about Buk- or reading him. So I think the people that pick him up are either by word of mouth or something they stumbled into which makes them more of an elite base of fans.

I think it's a mixture of xenophobia and elitism. Most are guilty of it at one time or another.
 
Well, as a young bukowski reader, at twenty2 i feel that he is as powerful for fucks my age as he is for any other. he tells it true, inspiring, awful, exact. it's just the way it has to be. no more. no less. hey yeah but you all know that anyway. ah, well he certainly wrote in a way that speaks to every generation- maybe not everyone IN every generation, and the "sport-o" does not sound like anyone i've met my age that reads Buk but hey. i don't know. i never know. i just...well, fuck it. Bukowski is deep, true to the human situation, spirit, and shit.
cheers
 
Yea, I guess I'm one of those "new generation of 'Buk' readers." I'm pushing 40, pushing my beltline outward, and pushing through life, badly.

I never really had an idea who Bukowski was, and then, lo and behold, I come across the movie FACTOTUM. I guess that makes me the type of reader SlowPlay is "appalled by." I got him from the movie.

Thing is, the movie led to the book, which has now led to me buying three more...who knows what next.

What does it matter how we are introduced...what matters is what we read...and in my case, are.

You see, I had to get the book because Chinaski spoke to me (even in the movie). I am, in effect, a shadow of the man. I read most of the book sitting in a poorly lit bar at a cheesey Mexican restaurant selling crap food to crap, phoney people (they actually gave me a "free" glass with my beer that they only charged me an extra buck for- and not one for each beer, one total).

I don't like whiskey as much (though it'll do in a pinch), gin is my preferred poison, and I have held the occasional job (going on 6 months with this one, longest in 5 years), but I understand and "feel" Bukowski quiet well. Maybe I don't "get" him as well as I "should" to be a true "Buk" fan, but then I really don't give a crap about being a "Buk" kinda guy.

I honestly don't care if you are offended by others taking your "in" thing away from you. Truth is, it was never yours in the first place. Get over it, or don't.

I need another drink, this one's dry.
 
In a Tee shirt....haha that was me a few years ago....
When I played hoops in university (before I fell head over heels for hallucinogenics, got a 0.0, failed out, and became a missionary) I wasn't just the only white dude on the bus but the only one reading Henry Miller as Public Enemy and Iced T were blaring all around me.

Then after that I was living and working with priests, brothers, sisters, other missionaries reading Rimbaud, Isadore Ducasse, Patchen...

then after that.....

what was it Buk said...
something like

True revolution is only born from true revulsion
then the kitten eats the lion
(bad misquote)

Who's the kitten?

Who knows?????
 
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ROC

It is what it is
What does it matter how we are introduced...what matters is what we read...and in my case, are.

I honestly don't care if you are offended by others taking your "in" thing away from you. Truth is, it was never yours in the first place. Get over it, or don't.

Just so cheap gin... just so. :)
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
what should a bukowski reader look and dress like? i didn't realize that we were in high school again... to read bukowski you have to look down and out, and to hang with the football jocks, you have to have nice jeans. sheesh. reminds me of the story where no one at the lexus dealership would talk to bukowski because he didn't fit the profile of a rich guy. if i saw a sporty looking guy reading bukowski, i'd assume that he was into exercise and good poetry. what the shit is wrong with that?
 
I don't necessarily think it's bad that someone sporty would read Bukowski. It might change his perspective on things. Who knows he might have some deep seeded suffering. If you worried about the Bukowski sub culture becoming main stream, like Che Guevera, I welcome it. Viva Bukowski...
 
I don't necessarily think it's bad that someone sporty would read Bukowski. It might change his perspective on things. Who knows he might have some deep seeded suffering. If you worried about the Bukowski sub culture becoming main stream, like Che Guevera, I welcome it. Viva La Bukowski...
 

jose leitao

Charter Member
Founding member
I was in the bookstore yesterday going through their crummy selection when a young teen: sporty looking, bottle water in hand, swim team shirt,etc. asked an employee if they had any Bukowski.

i laughed out loud. and walked out appalled by this "sport-o" looking for beloved Buk.

i realize that fresh new people will be introduced to Buk whether it be through mainstream (sadly, the Modest Mouse song "Bukowski") or from word of mouth. but does anyone else feel that holding onto someone like Bukowski as a favorite writer for years and then having it taken away by a new generation just feels degrading, and maybe prideful?
i know that my pride hits hard when someone mentioned to me "hey, i'm reading a "Buk" book that i saw you were reading currently on your blog." And i couldn't muster up the guts to tell them, Buk is not the last name, but nickname and to try again or walk away...

Actually I'm not sure if there are different generations of Bukowski readers which build on a cyclical basis? I always prefer to think that there is a continuum of people who are drawn to his art (as well as to any other artist or writer), and gravitate around it for a given amount of time.

Some rest in a steady orbit (like us), others move on, others are just meteors which touch and go, totally unmarked by it, but maybe returning every decade or so... :D

(Damn, somebody stop me with the metaphors here.)

After all, I only discovered Bukowski in 96 or so. He was already long gone, but listening to Tom Waits, helped me gravitate to Buk somehow. I already had read some Beat poets, I liked to read alternate poetry, and I got hooked. Now I have a couple CDs, a DVD and a dozen books...

I don't know if people who discovered Buk earlier, for instance 1990, were a different generation than me, or if people discovering it today are people who will not gain the same understanding and/or taste for it which I have, or even deeper.

Certainly in his own time, when Bukowski was still alive and rising to some notoriety, there were also people sampling his poetry and some liked it, others moved on.

What matters most is trying it at least once, and see if you like it.
I encourage all new readers to find this website and to watch/listen to Bukowski audio and video. Some friends have entered the orbit of PLANET BUK due to my pointing finger. But the love they felt for the material was all theirs.

THIS WAY TO BUKOWSKI!;) STEP RIGHT UP!

PS: btw, I know you didn't mean it that way, but laughing at the guy, could have discouraged the guy to pursue his Buk readings. We really can't judge a book by its cover...
 

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