When did you discover Bukowski? (1 Viewer)

Yep, it's a general rock and metal mag. I read it religiously as an early teen. Now I look at it and kid myself into thinking it was a lot better when I was that age.

It wasn't.
 
In the late 70's , I had a PTSD Vietnam Vet buddy with a knock out
stripper girlfriend. I (being a young idiot ) didn't respect her or her
intelligence. She read Bukowski I and poo pooed it.
Cut to 2006. Was I an idiot or what? I think the years have beaten me
up so I can appreciate "The Buk." The stripper had the last laugh.


Hello Father Luke!
 
was convalescing in a hospital bed after an attempted suicide in my early 20's (too much info?) sister brought me a copy of "Love Is A Dog From Hell" and i felt as though i'd found, if not a kindred spirit, then just something that mattered.
 
M

MULLINAX

A buddy of mine from South Dakota kept POST OFFICE in his crapper so that's where I first read Bukowski, way back in 1980. The apartment stank of 50 years of cat piss and the toilet was even worse so I ran off to a used bookstore and bought it. Still have it. Still read it. And yes, it's full of tomato and coffee stains. My pal thought Bukowski was only fit for immature adolescents and boys still looking for their first kiss. Funny thing is, he swore that CATCHER IN THE RYE was superior to anything Buk ever did. But this was before HAM ON RYE so maybe he's changed his mind.
 
M

MULLINAX

You can easily rebut them by mentioning FACTOTUM and Buk's take on "THE JOB".
There's nothing juvenile about his descriptions and critique of lower-class life.

The motherfuckers that dare to disrespect Buk are probably Salinger fans and adore Holden Caulfield, not because they were once preppies themselves, but because they have been told by ex-preppy critics (who were themselves once scared shitless punks) to do so.
 

mjp

Founding member
You can easily rebut them by mentioning FACTOTUM and Buk's take on "THE JOB". There's nothing juvenile about his descriptions and critique of lower-class life.
I always thought the underlying theme of Factotum was a criticism of the way labor is exploited in America.

I never read anything Bukowski wrote as a critique of "lower class" life. He described it without criticism. Quite the opposite in fact, he made the refusal to work (or at least the refusal to give in to work) seem noble.
 

ROC

It is what it is
I hear you mjp and agree with what you say, but I took Mulls use of the word 'critique' in the neutral sense. As in to analyse or discuss 'with a critical eye', rather than in the more commonly accepted negative sense.

A tedious dictionary.com excerpt;
Usage Note: Critique has been used as a verb meaning "to review or discuss critically" since the 18th century, but lately this usage has gained much wider currency, in part because the verb criticize, once neutral between praise and censure, is now mainly used in a negative sense. But this use of critique is still regarded by many as pretentious jargon, although resistance appears to be weakening. In our 1997 ballot, 41 percent of the Usage Panel rejected the sentence As mock inquisitors grill him, top aides take notes and critique the answers with the President afterward. Ten years earlier, 69 percent disapproved of this same sentence. Resistance is still high when a person is critiqued: 60 percent of the Usage Panel rejects its use in the sentence Students are taught how to do a business plan and then are critiqued on it. Thus, it may be preferable to avoid this word. There is no exact synonym, but in most contexts one can usually substitute go over, review, or analyze. · Note, however, that critique is widely accepted as a noun in a neutral context; 86 percent of the Panel approved of its use in the sentence The committee gave the report a thorough critique and found it both informed and intelligent.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
The motherfuckers that dare to disrespect Buk are probably Salinger fans and
adore Holden Caulfield, ... because they have been told ... to do so.

Q.) Why did the Holden Caulfield preppy cross the road?
A.) You told him to.

Q.) Why did the Charles Bukowski reader cross the road?
A.) Fuck off, I go where I please.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
I don't view Holden Caulfield in opposition to Hank/Buk/Chinaski...

I was entertained and enlightened by both - in fact I say Salinger just screamed more politely than Buk chose to. Both of them were influences though ,I was under the influence of JD Sal9nger at one point.
 
M

MULLINAX

It'a hard knock life...

I always thought the underlying theme of Factotum was a criticism of the way labor is exploited in America.

I never read anything Bukowski wrote as a critique of "lower class" life. He described it without criticism. Quite the opposite in fact, he made the refusal to work (or at least the refusal to give in to work) seem noble.

Critique means 'description' or 'discussion' or 'review', not criticism.

You're absolutely right about the "refusal" to work part. Buk's lower "low-grade" jobs were awful, and it is the sign of a free man to refuse to work for nothing.

As far as Buk's working life is concerned, I must take issue with his disparaging remarks about Orwell; "compared to me he wasn't even scratched". 200 million Europeans, including Orwell, had a much tougher time of it from '42 - '45 than Buk had in Philadelphia. Buk had it easy in that bar - while a million people starved to death in Leningrad. Buk had it easy in his rooming house - while 200,000 Serbs were being executed by the Fascist Ustasha Croats. I could go on and on. ("PLEASE STOP", I hear you say). Ok, I will
 

mjp

Founding member
I hear you mjp and agree with what you say, but I took Mulls use of the word 'critique' in the neutral sense. As in to analyse or discuss 'with a critical eye', rather than in the more commonly accepted negative sense.
Critique means 'description' or 'discussion' or 'review', not criticism.
Oh, I see how it is. Now we're using the dictionary to define words. Whatever.

Q.) Why did the Holden Caulfield preppy cross the road?
Because if he didn't the book would have no ending?
 

Father Luke

Founding member
animal0019.gif
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
That is the best message F.Luke has given yet. Wow that looks like fluke. You Mother Fluker;)

However; the dog should be chasing it's tail, instead.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
As far as Buk's working life is concerned, I must take issue with his disparaging remarks about Orwell; "compared to me he wasn't even scratched".

Orwell certainly got "scratched" in the Spanish civil war! According to his book, "Homage To Catalonia", he got shot through the neck at the frontlines.
His book, "Down And Out In Paris And London" does'nt seem to have been a picnic either...
 
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Dangling in the Tournefortia

Can't remember why I picked that one in the college library (1987). Blown away. Cool librarian checking it out for me let me know about "Barfly."
 

non compos mentis

Supporting good poetry
The first Bukowski I ever read was the poem, "The Aliens." Next, I read a clip from Ham on Rye about the white cat that was about to be killed by the dog with everyone watching. Both pieces were found online. They turned me off Bukowski and I didn't try to read any more for several years.

Being a Tom Waits fan I discovered he was a follower of Buk, so I thought I'd give him another chance. A friend loaned me Ham on Rye at Thanksgiving. I thoroughly enjoyed it and begged for more. He loaned me Postoffice while I ordered a bunch of stuff from amazon.com. Next I read Factotum, Hollywood, Women, Sometimes You Get so Alone, Play the Piano, Last Night of the Earth, and Cherkovski's bio, Hank. I bought an expensive copy of Barfly DVD, The Bukowski Tapes, Factotum DVD, and two CDs of Buk reading his work.

I am currently reading Screams from the Balcony and Notes from a Dirty Old Man. My bookshelf if growing and now includes all the books that are easily available. I will probably, at some point, start searching for the more collectable pieces. I'm already lusting after It Catches My Heart -- Loujon Press.

BTW: the cat clip from Ham on Rye still bothers me. I just got off to a bad start way back then.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
"Notes of a Dirty Old Man" columns in the L.A. Free Press. I was in High School or college at the time, so that tells you I am older than snot. First book was either "The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills" or "Post Office."
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
I first saw Born Into This and was so intrigued that I began pausing the DVD to read the text on pictures of his writings. I took my daughter's copy of Women and read it staight thru and then I was given Run with the Hunted as a gift. Run with the Hunted is a good one to start with, it made by all the books it has stories and poems from. Now I have read just enough Bukowski to be dangerous.
 
Mine was Women, when I was in high school. My best buddy gave it to me and I was so amazed that I hardly waited to read another one. I dug out Ham on Rye and I definitely fell in love with Buk`s art, prose first and then poetry as well. I liked his raw style, his description of real life his open attitude. I still enjoy reading his works, I usually read them in English now, and have a totally different feeling comparing the time when I was reading the translations in Serbian. I began collecting originals as well, I got War all the time from the USA, and last year I bought Run with the hunted at Belgrade`s book fair. The good news is that the originals finally showed up there, I saw Hot water music, Pulp, Women, poetry book collection, Ham on rye, Buk`s biography...Those originals will be mine this year for sure.
 
M

MULLINAX

Hey Joe, Hey Joe (you know the rest). I have some spare softcovers that I could send you. They're in pretty beat up shape, but Hey Joe, it's so appropriate.

I managed to score a lot of stamps from THE JOB so I could mail them to you gratis.
 
Hey Joe, Hey Joe (you know the rest). I have some spare softcovers that I could send you. They're in pretty beat up shape, but Hey Joe, it's so appropriate.

I managed to score a lot of stamps from THE JOB so I could mail them to you gratis.

That would be nice of you. I`ll send you my address.
 
First Book

Post Office...I know, I know...pretty well known and popular. But it got me into Bukowski and I haven't looked back. It was a great day when I stumbled upon his shelf at the bookstore because I have yet to find a writer that can keep me hooked like Buk. Since then I've read 10 others and my favorite has to be "Ham on Rye." There all top notch, though.
 
mine was 'hot water music' it was weird how i got into it. my friend had a book in his car 'tales of ordinary madness' looking at the picture on the front (bukowski smoking a cigarette) before reading the title "this guy looks fucking crazy!" i said to my friend. read the title, "oh, that explains it" i opened it and read the chapters "a .45 to pay the rent" was the first i believe. i thought to myself i like the sound of this guy. briefly remembered his name a few days later i was talking books with a boss at work and he mentioned charles bukowski and i told him i thought i heard of him and mentioned the 'tales of ordinary madness' he hadn't heard of it but brought 'hot water music' in for me the next day. this was a little over a year ago and i've been hooked since.
 
How I discovered Bukowski

I attended Ateneo de Manila University where eventually I graduated with a AB in English Literature. All my other four siblings and many other members of my extended family, including my father attended this university. It seems there was this professor who had a habit of failing or trying to fail my siblings brought on by historical documents he stole from my father's family. Since he was teaching "Modern Poetry", I elected not to take this class in an act of academic self-preservation. A friend took this class and subsequently later on lent me "Mindscapes", and anthology of Modern Poetry. I read Bukowski's poem "The Loser" and it completely changed my literary career. I've read most of the major titles and continue to search for more.

Below are to relevant excerpts from my Undergraduate Creative Writing Thesis which was the collection of 7 years of my poetry with analysis and history.

From my thesis:

"I was once told by a student in Ateneo trained by an erudite "treasure/relic" of modern poetry to stop writing poetry, because under his line of criticism, my work didn't make any sense. This line of thinking is exactly what I am totally against. I am against all forms of literary snobbery and pompousness. I am against narrow-mindedness and dismissive attitudes. I believe poetry, and writing in general, has few rules. I think in any form of writing it is important to generate a semblance of understanding, not produce vagueness. My work has been criticized for being too revealing and direct. My work tries to be simple and unpretentious. I use words of high vocabulary only when absolutely necessary, not because they look good on paper or because they sound good when said. My imagery also tries to be clear, direct, and intrinsically related. Sadly, I feel most of the people who seem to appreciate my work aren't writers. Perhaps most of the writers who have read my work seem to find it too simplistic."

...The most of my recent influences in imagery and description are the unparalleled character descriptions in the short stories of W. Somerset Maugham, and "The Loser" the one poem of Charles Bukowski I've read. The latter, a bit more than the former, has I think clearly had an impact on the works in my recent Urban Collection. Once again I reiterate that these styles, like my work, have and continue to be criticized as "too simple".
 
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Father Luke

Founding member
From my thesis:

"I was once told by a student in Ateneo trained by an erudite "treasure/relic" of modern poetry to stop writing poetry, because under his line of criticism, my work didn't make any sense.

My work has been criticized for being too revealing and direct. My work tries to be simple and unpretentious. I use words of high vocabulary only when absolutely necessary, not because they look good on paper or because they sound good when said. My imagery also tries to be clear, direct, and intrinsically related. Sadly, I feel most of the people who seem to appreciate my work aren't writers. Perhaps most of the writers who have read my work seem to find it too simplistic."

Ever been here? GPP

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Johannes

Founding member
Not that it matters now, but I think what Mullinax (may he rest in peace) was referring to, was indeed "Down and Out in Paris and London" by Orwell.

I remember B. writing about it too somewhere, does anybody know, where it is/was? Something in the cited "not-even-scratched"-context and Factotum.

I tend to believe it was Sounes but I'm not sure and don't have the book.
 
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1st time

I had my heart broken back in 92 sad I know... I went into Towers books looking for poetry to wallow in my sorrow all the more.. OUT jumped from the shelf ...Love is a dog from hell...Catchy title for the heartbroken.. and that's all it took ...I am now in the midst of Ham on rye..
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
I've heard several people say they first found Buk w/ LIADFH.
great book, and I think the title attracts like-minded people.
 

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