Was Bukowski a well read man?

he didnt think much of norman mailer.
he named knut hamsun as the greatest writer ever (in women)
he also likes fante and celine.
he has commented on hemingway and dostoevsky
so he was someone who used to read quite a bit even though he often said that he didnt like talking about literature.
which other writers did bukowski read? and what did he think about all of them?
 

Purple Stickpin

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And of course Fante. :?: I think we have that one covered.

It's funny because Buk did like a few writers, but sometimes wrote somewhat contradictory statements about his feelings toward their work (go figya). I believe that Buk liked Camus, but he did indicate in a poem or two that (and I can't remember the exact words) his work was rather cold and dispassionate (which it was - that was rather the point, no?). Something about presenting an apocalyptic situation in a way that resembled eating a sandwich (only nothing like that).

Here are some words from the mouth: https://bukowskiforum.com/index.php?threads/all-right-so-camus-had-to-give-speeches-before-the-academies-and-get-his-ass-killed.914/
 

mjp

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He often wrote of his love for the work of Rod McKuen, and how he thrilled at discovering his writing at one of the many reading he went to in the 1960s.
 
d gray, he talks about mccullers in WOMEN.

in the introduction to fante's ASK THE DUST, bukowski mentioned that he also liked a few german writers (or did he say philosophers) who wrote the truth.
 
a couple poems i read of buks recently reminded me of D.H. Lawrence .. i wont go into it, unless someones particularly interested .. and ill find a couple comparisons .. great forum btw .. i thought i was on my own over in the south of uk reading buk poems all this time ..
 
The second half of chapter 35 in Ham on Rye deals with books and writers that Bukowski read as a youngster, some that he liked and some that he didn't.
 

David

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McKuen, Dan Brown, Ayn Rand, Jacqueline Susann, Danielle Steele,
Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull), Tom Clancy,
William S. Burroughs, Edgar Rice Burroughs...
 

Stavrogin

Over 1000 posts
Interesting list, David, but Rand and the Burroughs boys don't fit - at least to me. When I was in college the profs hated Rand which of course endeared her to the subversive sort amongst the ranks and we passed The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged with glee.
 

David

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:wb: It was all of course meant to be a funny list. The real list would be Catullus, Li Po, Tu Fu, Celine, Dostoyevsky, cummings, Conrad Aiken, Rabelais, Jeffers, Hamsun, Hemingway, Fante, Saroyan, Neruda, Pound, Turgenev, Gorky, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Kafka, Artaud, D.H. Lawrence, Thurber, McCullers, Boccaccio, Whitman...
 

Bill Sikes

Over 100 posts
Interesting question, however it's in line with the other questions regarding authenticity of his stories. My father, although he could recite quotes from the certain Russian books, and claimed he read more books than '100 people you meet on the street combined' - I never saw him read one book in my life! He also came to the realization "You have to be good liar..." to be a writer.

I don't know if he (Bukowski) read the amount of books he claimed he did - however we should have more interest in Bukowski as writer than Bukowski as man? I know, that's hard thing to do...
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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A good writer reads.
A good film director watches films.
A good football coach watches football.
Seems pretty obvious to me.
 

Rekrab

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I know he read McCullers because the first time I read her I was amazed at how much he'd picked up from her. It seemed like his voice was echoing in her work, but she wrote it first, so actually her voice was echoing in his work.
 

mjp

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I'm offended to be posting in a thread started by an idiot.
 

Purple Stickpin

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I would say that all the others should be offended to be included on any list with Ayn Rand.
Recently I had some numb-fuck on another website cite the works of Ayn Rand as proof that the recorded music business was a sound vehicle for promoting the careers of musicans. It's amazing to me that so many people can get out of bed in the morning without suffering an aneurysm while they figure out which leg to put through their jockey shorts and why their toothbrush is jutting out of the dog's bunghole.
 
Take any of the 3 volumes of letters by Black Sparrow Press and have a quick look at the index of names at the end.

You'll be amazed!
I'm guessing you have them, would you kindly share the index with us? I live in another country so this one would be really hard to get. Please scan them! :)
 

hank solo

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The Black Sparrow Press letter collections were reissued by Ecco and you can still order them:-
  • Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970 (Volume 1)
  • Living on Luck: Selected Letters 1960s-1970s (Volume 2)
  • Reach for the Sun: Selected Letters 1978-1994 (Volume 3)
 
The Black Sparrow Press letter collections were reissued by Ecco and you can still order them:-
hey, solo.

I know that, they aren't that expensive either, its just that to import them from the US is very expensive, and, even though I would love to read them, I'm interested in the index with the writers that Hank liked.. so, that's why i only wanted the scan of the index, not the whole thing. (google books preview doesn't have the index)
 
Yes those novels are great. I also like The Idiot and Notes from Underground. There are many great russian writers.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
[...] and Notes from Underground. There are many great russian writers.
Yeah, he also mentions 'Notes from the Underground' several times and said he loved it.

He's also read Turgenjev, which he liked and Tolstoi, which he didn't like so much. (If my memory serves me right here.)
 
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