Will Bukowski work survive time? Or, people want Mary Higgins Clark

E

Eldragon

I posted similar question some years ago on Atlantic Monthly and almost got my head chopped-off (for even mentioning him). Naturally, I got a lot of negative comments from the 'high-brow' crowd there. But, I was also disappointed when I visited San Pedro in 1997, and hardly anyone had heard that famous dead poet lived in their town. Just one person could direct me to the Green Hills where he was burried, but didn't know his name???
Things are probably better now, but I am not sure if future is promising. Think Fante.
 

ROC

It is what it is
I have a sneaking suspicion that there will always be a legion of Bukowski fans who wish to read all that was written by the man.

'Literary history' will probably reduce his oeuvre to a slim 100-200 page book of his best poetry. There's a lot of mediocrity and repetition to cut out.
His short stories didn't break any new ground and, as such, have already been accepted into the literary cannon. Everything from South of no North onwards will stand the test of time, I think.
I'm not sure how his novels will hold up - but I suspect not well.

That's just my opinion - only time will tell of course.
The town he lived in and his place of burial will end up being irrelevant as the focus shifts from his persona/life to his writing - I hope
I might also add that I would rather read Bukowski at his most repetitious and mediocre than almost anyone else. Anytime. Anywhere.
 
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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
I'm sure he will stand the test of time, but he will always be for the few. Maybe naturally so since he was never a mainstream writer. The movies about him will also help him being remembered...
 
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I posted similar question some years ago on Atlantic Monthly and almost got my head chopped-off (for even mentioning him). Naturally, I got a lot of negative comments from the 'high-brow' crowd there. But, I was also disappointed when I visited San Pedro in 1997, and hardly anyone had heard that famous dead poet lived in their town. Just one person could direct me to the Green Hills where he was burried, but didn't know his name???
Things are probably better now, but I am not sure if future is promising. Think Fante.
Last week I looked into a number of public and university libraries to find out how much Bukowski they have. His books are everywhere, sometimes in great abundance, with even more listings than the well-established literary icon Ernest Hemingway. For more details, you might find the following thread on Bukowski and the Libraries of interest:

https://bukowskiforum.com/showthread.php?t=1172

Keep in mind that even if your library has few of B's works, there are such things as inter-library loans. In Sedona, I have access to 23 works by Bukowski and John Fante. All things considered, that's a generous number of writings to choose from. In Europe, some of libraries seem to be more limited in scope, but certainly not in Paris. If there's a will, there's usually a way to get one's hands on his books and not remain dry. At any rate, he's in the libraries...and I believe he's in there for good. He was too good and too prolific to ever be shut out and forgotten...I believe that's not going to happen, ever... no way, no how. He's made it... and he's in to stay, period. "”Poptop.
 
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jose leitao

Charter Member
Founding member
Amen, brother!

Buk is forever. Even when books are no longer books, his poetry will still be around. Maybe 200 years from now there'll be not millions but hundreds who still appreciate it and understand it, but I'm guessing a select few will always pick it up and raise the flag every once in a while.
 
His books are translated into more than 16 languages. he is legendary. There will always be a need for someone like Bukowski but I doubt anyone will ever match him. What he has produced is unique
 
When Pigs Can Fly

I could foresee a day when Bukowski might be forgotten and no longer read: It'll happen when blue-collar workers are promoted to generals... when every dedicated whore is rich enough to own a fur coat from Fredrick's of Hollywood... when it's the fallen politicians who are pushing brooms down the encrusted sidewalks of New York and Chicago instead of the minimum-wage slaves... Or it'll happen when pitiful nations are no longer engaged in senseless slaughter... the kitchens of the world give away their extra food... and Africa is no longer a forgotten continent with its tribal wars and AIDS. Then they're won't be any need for Bukowski, because he was part of the cure and showed there's always a way out if one continues to look for it. But until that day, he won't be forgotten"”he represents the triumph of the human spirit over seemingly impossible odds, and there can never be too many examples on this poor... beautiful... pitiful... fucked-up planet called Home. "”Poptop.
 
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jose leitao

Charter Member
Founding member
poptop: a bit over the top, there... :p

The way I figure it, as long as there are heartbreaks, madness, women with long nails who rip our clothes to shreds in jealousy, and liquor... a Bukowski book will always have a line to save the reader's life.
 
This post made me think of something...

I know this will probably sound negative, sad and/or pessimistic but reading this made me think so just let this soak in for a sec: :)

Let us reflect on the human situation. All of our lives, plans, and works (if we have any that are socially accepted and mass produced) will be forgotten in the long run, if not in the short. Homes we have built and lovingly furnished, careers we have dedicated ourselves to will all dissappear in time. The monuments we have built to memorialize our aspirations and achievements, if we are fortunate, may last a few hundred years, perhaps even a millenium or two. (Think recovered ruins of Greece, Egypt, Rome, etc.) All of our possessions will be dissipated, poems, books, paintings, etc. Even the things we prize the most, human intelligence and love, the quest for truth, will in time be replaced by unknown values and institutions--if humans survive as a species, and even that is uncertain.

So maybe that is an existentialist rant or something...and it probably is a little negative, but that's what this topic made me think about and I just wanted to type it out before I thought about it too much or edited myself so as not to scare anyone.

Your thoughts (while you are still around to give them) ????

SG:o
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
well, yes, of course you're right...
everything is temporary.
the planet as we know it will dissapate in a million years or so. time will take on a different meaning.we'll all be long gone. but at that last moment of humanity, some people will be thinking of certain written works as the universe disperses like san francisco fog in the sunlight. shakespeare? joyce? proust? cummings? pound? beckett? camus? bukowski?
well, who knows, really. though there will be a last thought, and out of billions I'm sure one will think of Buk.
 
Everything is as it is...

Nicely said, Hooch. I guess if you think about it, even though we are quite few (in the relative scheme of things) that have found this website, we would not have related in some way, or make that any way at all...were it not for the great work of Uncle Buk. Perhaps the moral of the story is that what we create does have the potential to be stronger than we ever could be on our own. Now I don't really know what signifigance that has outside of ourselves and who we are in the here and now...BUT it sure seems to feel nice. As anyone who can relate to Bukowski should know, that is truly one of the rarest feelings around.

Thanks for your time,

SG :)
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
I could foresee a day when Bukowski might be forgotten and no longer read: It'll happen when blue-collar workers are promoted to generals... when every dedicated whore is rich enough to own a fur coat from Fredrick's of Hollywood... when it's the fallen politicians who are pushing brooms down the encrusted sidewalks of New York and Chicago instead of the minimum-wage slaves... Or it'll happen when pitiful nations are no longer engaged in senseless slaughter... the kitchens of the world give away their extra food... and Africa is no longer a forgotten continent with its tribal wars and AIDS. Then they're won't be any need for Bukowski, because he was part of the cure and showed there's always a way out if one continues to look for it. But until that day, he won't be forgotten"”he represents the triumph of the human spirit over seemingly impossible odds, and there can never be too many examples on this poor... beautiful... pitiful... fucked-up planet called Home. "”Poptop.
I HEART this posting - great sentiments from a "departed" participant and I wish him well.

Gonna miss those essays-in-a-single-thread experiences ! :>)

thank you poptop
 
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D

deadhead

Yes, well put. Are we the kind of readers who would settle for anything less? I'm guessing we find pride in our selectiveness, our rare diet.
 
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