The Way the Dead Love (1 Viewer)

cirerita

Founding member
ok, guys, I need your help here. On page 278 from Screams from the Balcony Bukowski talks about The Way The Dead Love, an unfinished novel first published in Congress. He mentions living in a "faded green hotel" for two years. In a 1961 unpublished letter to John Webb, before he began that novel, B. talks about the very same hotel: "For 3 years I lived in a skid row hotel -before my hemhorrhage- and got drunk every night with an x-con, the hotel maid, an Indian, a gal who looked like she wore a wig but didn't, and 3 or 4 drifters."

Where was this hotel??? And when did B. live there?
 
The most likely address that I can figure would be 268 4/6 S. Coronado Street, L.A., CA 90057. 1951-1953. Unless it was on one of those junket cities like Philadelphia, but he never lived in those cities long enough (or in one place long enough) to meet what you've said.

Other than that, I'd say ask cirerita. ;)
 

mjp

Founding member
Coronado street was a court apartment. All of the Los Angeles addresses were apartments, none was a hotel. Would have to have been in the 1940's, in one of those "address unknown" periods. There isn't much evidence of an extended stay at a hotel anywhere outside the letters you mention, so methinks this two or three year hotel stay may be creative memory.
 
Well, the difference between 2 years and 3 years did puzzle me. I figured you'd know about Coronado St., mjp. It wasn't like I had any great info, just using the Timeline here to narrow down the choices. It seems he may have spent the most time other than in LA in Philly, but just the way he words those quotes makes it seem as if he was living there just before his whole stomach busting open thing (can't spell hemorrage for sure right now). Which is why I figured Coronado St.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Whenever I say, "I need your help", now you know why ;)

I don't think he made it up. Just read The Way the Dead Love (South of No North)... Too many coincidences to be dreamt up. When he wrote about the hotel to Webb (1961), he was not writing The Way the Dead Love (1967), he was just recalling a period from his life (Webb had asked him to write a complete autobiograpy, and that he did). And one day he sat down a wrote a story about this hotel, saying the same things he had said in letters.

And, by the way, it seems that it was in this hotel where he mistakenly screwed Baldy in the ass. Some hotel, huh?
 
All of the Los Angeles addresses were apartments, none was a hotel.

Well, North Mariposa Was a hotel.
Of course this can't be the one in the story, since it isn't on top of a hill.

Also South West Lake Ave is a hotel, but he lived there only short and together with Jane, so it also can't be the one.
And I think he lived at least one time in a hotel around Mc Arthur Park (but also together with Jane).

And in his early years, he lived at Bunker Hill - now, THAT's a hill. Pretty sure this was also a hotel. But I wouldn't expect him to live such a long time at one place then.
 

cirerita

Founding member
I think I have a better idea now. Let's see. The story "80 Airplanes Don't Put You in the Clear" takes place in that hotel as B. mentions the same characters: Baldy, the scrubwoman, the x-con, etc. Same place for sure. Right at the end of the story, "Hank" says he hasn't been published yet, he's still "developing."

If true, this makes me think that he was in that "faded green hotel" after he dropped out of college and before he was published in Story. I think that Baldy and that other guy from college -can't recall his name now, the one who went to war and died- hung around with B. during those years, so this period (late 1941-1944) makes sense to me.


More info: in the infamous story where B screws Baldy in the ass, B. says Baldy is 32. That might be a good lead. The scrubwoman, Helen, is mentioned as well. You can read the story in the City Lights edition of Notes of a Dirty Old Man, pp. 145-149.

Was Baldy any older than B? I can't recall that now.
 

mjp

Founding member
...this makes me think that he was in that "faded green hotel" after he dropped out of college and before he was published in Story. ...so this period (late 1941-1944) makes sense to me.
And of course that's the period we know the least about.

Interesting though...because we know that in early 1941 he was living with his parents, and in late 1943 he was in Philadelphia, so that leaves a window of a couple years where we previously assumed he was "on the road." If he was in a hotel in Los Angeles, that kind of rules out his spending any considerable amount of time in a lot of other cities.

The two (or three, depending on when he told the story) years in the green hotel fit handily into that unknown address gap.
 

cirerita

Founding member
The fact that there are always people in the room and they're partying all the time does not fit with the Bukowski "mood" from the early 50's, but it kind of makes sense as a post-college period as he was still seeing his college "friends"... But it does NOT fit with B's sexual background: he claims having fucked everybody in that hotel -Baldy included- and I don't think he did that in the 1941-1944 period. He lost his virginity to the infamous 300 pound whore when he was 23, right?

Or maybe he fucked everybody in that hotel in 1943 / early 1944. You know, a late starter trying to make up for lost time.

And then he says Baldy is 32, which would put the story in the early 50's.

Huh?
 
maybe he was mixing periods.

post-college time would well fit, since that was, when he lived in Bunker Hill/Downtown, where they have plenty of cheap hotels. (and a hill)

but as you said - it doesn't fit into the "having sex"-claim. he sure wasn't 'making up' THAT fast. and Baldy wouldn't be That much older.

also, in 'Way the Dead Love' he says: "I had been fired by fat stupidities like him ALL MY LIFE." (start of chapter 4) - this doesn't sound like coming straight out of college.

and in chapter 7 he meets "a lady in a bar", "her legs were still good [...] very expensive clothes." etcetc - sounds like JANE to me.

when in '80 Airplanes', Hank says, he's still "developing", this could also refer to the post-'Aftermath'-years, when he (more or less) gave up writing for his so called 10-year-drunk. would also fit very good in the mood of the stories in question. And he claimed, he quit writing then, because he felt he hadn't developed yet.

so maybe this was right after he came back from Philly to settle in L.A. for good [1947?] ...
 
no, no.
not GETTING them mixed UP, but MIXING them - for reasons of making a story. (like he mixed his Philly years with L.A. years for 'Barfly')
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
and then there's just old fashioned creative writing - you know, making stuff up :D

Will we ever be sure?
 

cirerita

Founding member
yeah, we all know B mixed stuff, got stuff mixed up and down, left and right, made it up and down and then shook it loose, baby. Yeah.

But I feel this one is for real.
 

Johannes

Founding member
But I feel this one is for real.

Probably the place existed somewhere and the people. But especially reaming Baldy a tergo, come on, I always thought if anything is invented, it must be this. Including his not wanting to leave afterwards. :D

But what do we know.
 

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