Tom the biographer (1 Viewer)


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In "literary chitchat" -from Come On In!- B mentions this Tom guy who used to tell him literary stories over a cup of coffee and who was about to write a bio on B, but B wrote him off in a poem -how unexpected!- and the bio never materialized.

any idea as to who this Tom guy was? Maybe Ben Pleasants? Richmond??? I'm a bit slow today, so maybe is someone really obvious, but I just can't figure out who...
Not sure who the biographer was or could be but I am pretty sure you will find a poem addressing this issue and perhaps this specific biographer in 'The Last Night of The Earth Poems' titled 'The Jackals' on page 312.

-does anyone ever get slightly annoyed by Bukowskis constant anti-attitud, i.e., this relentless notion that everyone else was 'posing' while Bukowski was being Authentic?

I love to read Bukowski but somtimes I just think: Bukowski change the record, stop boxing yourself in, sto pretending you never pretend.

just a thought
as always
Colin ;)
Olaf said:
-does anyone ever get slightly annoyed by Bukowskis constant anti-attitud, i.e., this relentless notion that everyone else was 'posing' while Bukowski was being Authentic?
No. He was a messed up guy, and did a lot of annoying things. I would hazard to guess that that was part of his appeal to a large portion of his audience.

I don't disagree with his dismissal of most of his contemporaries as being less than genuine. I know that's not a commonly held opinion, but it works for me. Of course Bukowski was disingenuous at times himself.

I think what bothers people was his saying that he was great. You aren't supposed to do that. You're supposed to be humble. Sometimes he was, sometimes he wasn't. But his braggadocio was usually warranted.
I don't think that it is Ben Preasants. He had referred to him as Bernard Rifko in a story once (Published in Wormwood Review). The name "Tom" is so non-specific that it may be a conglomeration of people.

One of the books of letters probably holds the answer to the question. But then in letters he sometimes used initials instead of names, so you never know.

I've been thinking of revisiting the letter collections, so I'll keep the phantom biographer in mind when I do.
Hi Cirerita,
Yes, I have read the poem and reread it when I read the posting, still I have never heard of a bio earlier than Neeli's. The fact that no one in this forum has an answer puzzles me.

My only guess would be Richmond, but he never mentioned a trust fund in the poem, and the few poems abotu Richmond that I remember, Buk mentions the parent's money.

I'm stumped.

Wasn't Hugh Fox going to write a bio, now that I think of it? After Charles Bukowski A Critical and Bibliographical Study in 1969? Maybe I'm tripping, but it rings a bell.
Hi, you may be right, but I don't think that Hugh/Connie has ever lived in California. If that is the case, then he could not be Tom.
In a 1988 unpublished letter, B denies Fox permission to reprint his 1969 book. He argues the book is no good to be reprinted -though I guess that's actually Martin's opinion.
Of course, that doesn't mean B would say no to a bio by Fox, but I doubt it.
I got an e-mail today from Hugh Fox. It was completely unrelated to this discussion, but he mentioned that he lived in LA from 1958 to 1968, so he was in LA and COULD have had coffee with Buk../
just noticed in Sounes, chapter 10, it mentions that Buk's friendm Ben Pleasants was working on a biography, but abandoned it. I think that someone else mentioned Ben as being Tom the biographer. I think that the mystery is solved....


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