The People Look Like Flowers At Last (1 Viewer)

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Geez, Roni. I lost my appetite. Do you know the background why they have chosen these designs for the covers?
 
Do you know the background why they have chosen these designs for the covers?

It's a tradition, esp. with the two publishers of paperback-editions of Bukowski (dtv and fischer) to make His covers as ugly and dump as possible. They have totally new covers designed every few years, but they never get any better - the tradition is always kept alive.

You really need to KNOW, what you want, b/c nobody would ever buy these books just because he happened to see them somewhere.


ps:
just to proof it has a long tradition - here some covers from the 80s:

vielebuecher2.jpg
 

mjp

Founding member
The more I think about the non-Black Sparrow covers the more it seems to be a non-issue. When many of us started reading Bukowski (those many dusty years ago) and Black Sparrow was the only game in town, the books were like little secrets, and the quality and unusual design only made you feel more like you were in on something really unique and special.

But I don't think that Bukowski can really be looked at in that light anymore. Born Into This and Factotum are showing on a cable movie channel somewhere every week, and Ecco is dropping the books into every book store on the planet. Bukowski has gone mainstream. Small "m" mainstream, sure, but the name is out there, and the dirty old man persona is out there, and the repackaging of the books was inevitable at some point, no matter what.

Bukowski and Black Sparrow will be forever intertwined in my experience, but people coming in to the party now aren't burdened with that. ;) And really it's the words that matter. As long as they don't fuck with them, who cares what the wrapper looks like.

I have some hideously covered versions of Herman Hesse (and fewer - though equally unfortunate - Mark Twain) books, but I didn't really pay attention to the covers when I was a young sprout reading that stuff. The covers were irrelevant to me. And that's probably how someone coming to Bukowski now looks at it. As they should.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
If only they would have stuck with the original titles in the non-English speaking countries...
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
I agree, although the title Ham on rye is not translatable in Dutch.

The rest of the Buk titles are original but some of them are hard to find or expensive, (the second hand books that is.)

It seems in German they don't stay with the original Buk-books titles.

http://www.charles-bukowski.de/hank/index.html

On the other hand...it's great that German people are able to read many Buk-books if they don't read English or are too lazy to read in English.

Are the Danish Buk titles original, and in other countries?
 

chronic

old and in the way
I agree, although the title Ham on rye is not translatable in Dutch.

It seems like this title would be easily translatable to any language in any country where they have pig meat and rye bread. I suppose it would probably lose its ambiguity in the translation but a literal translation should be simple.

But then, of course, I have been known to be wrong on occasion.
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Sure, a literal translation is always possible, but they will think Ham on rye is a cook book...
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Good idea, although I suppose Buk would prefer Dienstmädchen to read him...

Here's another translated Buk.

verhalenvanalledaagsewaanzin.jpg
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Is that "Erections..." ("Tales of ordinary madness & "The most beautiful woman in town")?

Are the Danish Buk titles original, and in other countries?

Not "Ham On Rye", "Factotum" and "Post Office". But "Hollywood" and "Women" have the original titles. So has "Erections", although they only translated half the stories (and no other short story books have been translated). "Pulp" has'nt been translated yet. As for poetry, there's only been published a thin anthology.
"Ham On Rye" was called "All Included". "Factotum" became "All Work At Hand" and "Post Office" became "All Power To The Substitute Mail Carriers"...
 
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The pic itself is ok, only I see no sense in using it for a book about his childhood and youth. The original cover with the pic from the yearbook was much more fitting I think.

The pic they used is 'Bad Boy' by Eric Fischl (1981).
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
very true. Also, this may sound like a really stupid question, but maybe you "higher-ups" can help me out. I'm curious, The Bukowski/Purdy Letters. Think they'll ever make this item affordable? I really don't wanna pay an arm and a leg for it but I really want to read those damn letters.

I had to quote this, despite the fact that it was posted nearly... Oh, 8 months ago now... I actually found a copy of The Bukowski\Purdy Letters at Powell's Books in softcover from 1983 for $10.

Does it normally cost more elsewhere, or did I just get a cheap copy cuz its paperback?
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Normally it costs more due to its relative rarity. That's a good price, but the book itself isn't a great letters collection.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
The more I think about the non-Black Sparrow covers the more it seems to be a non-issue. When many of us started reading Bukowski (those many dusty years ago) and Black Sparrow was the only game in town, the books were like little secrets, and the quality and unusual design only made you feel more like you were in on something really unique and special.

But I don't think that Bukowski can really be looked at in that light anymore. Born Into This and Factotum are showing on a cable movie channel somewhere every week, and Ecco is dropping the books into every book store on the planet. Bukowski has gone mainstream. Small "m" mainstream, sure, but the name is out there, and the dirty old man persona is out there, and the repackaging of the books was inevitable at some point, no matter what.

Bukowski and Black Sparrow will be forever intertwined in my experience, but people coming in to the party now aren't burdened with that. ;) And really it's the words that matter. As long as they don't fuck with them, who cares what the wrapper looks like.

I have some hideously covered versions of Herman Hesse (and fewer - though equally unfortunate - Mark Twain) books, but I didn't really pay attention to the covers when I was a young sprout reading that stuff. The covers were irrelevant to me. And that's probably how someone coming to Bukowski now looks at it. As they should.

Poast of the year.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
It's a selection of Erections..., first printing, 1980.

Funny! Here they also only printed a selection of Erections... - and in 1980 too! Maybe it's even the same selection!
 
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reasonknot

Founding member
the people look like flowers at last

i read this book this morning from the back to the middle.funny how the books control you sometimes.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Got it recently and read it straight through, on one boring evening at work.

It was the first posthumous collection I've read and I was a little ... hm, worried or something, that it might not hold up to the ones published in his lifetime. Stupid, of course, and after the first few minutes of reading all of that was gone.

I really like it, it was one joyful read which lighted up my whole day and it even contains one of my new all-time-favorite-poems now: My Faithful Indian Servant.

Also it can be an interesting game to play with yourself (if you like to do so) to try guessing out of which periode/decade a single poem is or might be. For some reason I'd have guessed that My Faithful Indian Servant was written in the mid 80`s or even later, but no, all wrong, the famous database tells me: 1962! A real early one.

And Soup, Cosmos and Tears, jesus, here's one for Sheri Martinelli to get pissed upon :)

Much more than Vegas. I wonder, if she ever read it. Truly funny.
 
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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
And Soup, Cosmos and Tears, jesus, here's one for Sheri Martinelli to get pissed upon :)

Why? Is it about Martinelli?

I looked it up in the database. It appeared it Evergreen Review No. 79, 1970, so it seems like this is the first time it's been collected...
 
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Johannes

Founding member
Why? Is it about Martinelli?

Yes, it is. :)

Read Beerspit Night And Cursing and you'll see. It's sort of a, errm, satire and really funny. Even Martinellis husband is there, in a way :)

Sometimes it seems that B. never really got over the fact (at least it took him quite a while) that he once corresponded with a woman who'd slept with Pound. Pound!
 
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Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
And Soup, Cosmos and Tears, jesus, here's one for Sheri Martinelli to get pissed upon :)

You might wanna here the recording where Buk reads this poem himself. I think its on the CD "Bukowski: King of Poets". (You can get it on iTunes.)
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
I have Beerspit, but just haven't got round to reading it. But something tells me that this poem (Soup, Cosmos and Tears) is not about Martinelli.

Just my gut talking though.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
I can't believe I'm writing this, to Hank Solo, and I'm sure to be corrected (I'm ready, just let me have it), but here goes: I think you're wrong on this one.
I seem to recall even the soup being mentioned in one of Buk's letters in Beerspit. Martinelli seems to have been just the "new age" type of dame depicted in Soup, Cosmos & Tears.

I enjoyed Beerspit a lot. Martinelli seems quite a character. Buk shows in those letters how effectively he could adapt his language to the person he was addressing. Love the section where he and Martinelli exchange cooking tips. I've been using oregano with my eggs ever since.... :D
 

Johannes

Founding member
You're right, Erik, though I don't remember the soup being mentioned. Is it really in there? Great. One more bit.

Yes, they exchanged cooking-tips. Martinelli even got B. walking into a health-food-store and, of course, promptly hating the scene there.

Soup, Cosmos and Tears is, well, you could say in large parts made up upon Martinellis character in Beerspit Night ... then, others are invented. As far as we know, Martinelli never slept with William S. Burroughs :)
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Hey I don't know what I'm talking about Erik :D

I had forgotten all about the part about 'Ezra' etc. Now I can hear Bukowski reading it in that crazy "woman's voice" he used and I'm belatedly telling myself to shut up!

I ought to read Beerspit though. I just remember a lot of folks here saying how different (and not so good) the letters were. Same goes for the Bukowski / Purdy Letters book. Here on a shelf, unread. I'll get to it some day.

So I concede - Martinelli probably makes up a good part of the character Annette in Soup.
 

Johannes

Founding member
So I concede - Martinelli probably makes up a good part of the character Annette in Soup.

Yes. For sure.

Interesting: As per your document we can see that the last word in the "The People Look Like Flowers ..."-version of this poem was changed from "ridiculous" to "suspect". For whatever reason. Maybe one of these mysterious John-Martin-changes.
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Oy!
If you want to sell it, let me know. . .

I'm gonna outbid you on that one;)

I think I put a bid on Buk-purdy of $52.00 on ebay a few months ago. It didn't work...but a few days later I won the Sherman memoir for a good price from the same seller so after all I was a happy child.
I suppose they still sell the Buk-Purdy letters on Abe for $50.00
 

mjp

Founding member
I ought to read Beerspit though. I just remember a lot of folks here saying how different (and not so good) the letters were. Same goes for the Bukowski / Purdy Letters book. Here on a shelf, unread. I'll get to it some day.
At least I remember bits of Beerspit. Bukowski/Purdy was so boring I can't recall one line.

Beerspit is annoying (to me) because Martinelli is neck deep in groovy new beatnik shit like using "yr" for "You're." As Erik pointed out, Bukowski responds in her language, so a lot of his letters are shit too, and ring hollow because he was communicating on her hyper-educated-know-it-all-hipster level. Blah.

He was best when he was just blowing it out in long, drunken rants in his letters, and for some reason seeing them in manuscript form has a much greater impact than reading them in the books. The books don't have all that many great letters in them, which is odd, considering he wrote 20 million letters.
 

cirerita

Founding member
The books don't have all that many great letters in them, which is odd, considering he wrote 20 million letters.

True.

Speaking of which, I'm supposed to receive the complete Corrington/Bukowski correspondence, which amounts to over 500 pages. Fuck, I'll have to buy another binder! ;)
 

Father Luke

Founding member
Well, blehh or not, I look to them as historical documents.

And I consider myself fortunate to be able to read so much
of what he wrote in it's original form in the archives
you've set up, mjp.

So there.
 

mjp

Founding member
I look at them that way too. I bought the books, I read them, I'm interested. They just fall short. Some of them shorter than others.

It's as if they took all of your favorite musician's music away and only gave you rough demos and B-sides. Interesting - if you have already heard everything else - but it wouldn't make a great first impression.

The letters overall are interesting, seeing who he really let loose with and who he wrote to with more -- control. There are definitely different letter styles, and the books just don't seem to capture the real "Bukowski letter." For lack of a better term.

But I remember when the first BSP letters book came out. I savored every page. So, yeah, I don't want to knock them too much. I'm just jaded. Don't pay any attention to me.
 

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