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R. Crumb drawings based on the exploits of Charles Bukowski


The cover of Charles Bukowski’s short story, ‘Bring Me Your Love’ illustrated by R. Crumb.
 
The seemingly logical collaboration of the great R. Crumb and transgressive writer and poet Charles Bukowski finally became a reality in the early part of the 80s when Crumb created illustrations for two of Bukowski’s short stories, Bring Me Your Love (1983) and There’s No Business (1984).
 

An illustration from ‘There’s No Business’ by R. Crumb.
 
Crumb’s illustrations give the already gritty storylines of both stories visual context—such as a man who looks much like Buk wrestling on the floor with his “wife” after a dispute involving answering the phone or various barroom skirmishes depicting a Bukowski-looking character running amok. The pair would collaborate once again in 1998 (four years after Bukowski’s passing in 1994) with Crumb illustrating a collection of excerpts from Bukowski’s diary, specifically passages from the year prior to his death, The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship. Many of Crumb’s illustrations from all three publications, as well as a few other cartoons images of Charles Bukowski drawn by Crumb follow.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Famous boozers and their favorite liquid vices

Humphrey Bogart on the set of The African Queen with his buddy, Gordon
Humphrey Bogart on the set of 1951 film, The African Queen with his buddy, Gordon

As I’m sure many of you are right now preparing for tomorrow, a day when you will be attempting to brush away vodka-coated cobwebs from your eyes, I thought it would be fun to share some stories and images of some of the best-known boozers and professional drunks in history. One is amazingly still with us, and the others have sadly long since gone on to the great barroom in the sky. I’m going to start this post off with one of my favorite mythical drinkers, Academy Award-winning actor, Humphrey Bogart.

Here’s Bogie (pictured above) on the set of the 1951 film that won him that Academy Award, The African Queen. While Bogart played the part of a gin-guzzling riverboat captain, Charlie Allnut, in real life he didn’t show a particular affinity for any one kind of liquor, but seemed to love them all, especially Scotch. While most of the cast and crew of the The African Queen fell ill during the filming (which was shot on site in Uganda and the Congo in Africa), Bogart was claimed that he didn’t get sick, and whenever a fly bit him “it dropped dead” thanks to his steady diet of beans, canned asparagus and Scotch whisky. Bogart’s fascinating life and love affair with booze is beautifully detailed in the 2011 book, Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart (which I highly recommend you read if you are at all a fan of Bogart).
 
Hunter S. Thompson on the job
Hunter S. Thompson
 
Easily known as one of history’s most irresponsible consumers of booze and drugs is much loved and often hated gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. As well known for his contributions to the literary world as he is for his rabid intake of alcohol, Hunter enjoyed his all of his vices in excess - whether it be booze, amyl nitrate, cigarettes, guns or women. If it was bad for you, Hunter always had a lot of it around. A drunk after my own heart, Thompson was known for ordering several drinks at a time so he didn’t have to wait for a refill.

If you’ve ever read any of Thompson’s work and are also acquainted with documents concerning his actual life , it quickly becomes clear that his “fictional” exploits were much more close to the actuality of his day-to-day life on the edge. What more could you expect from a man who lived for sleeping late, having fun, getting wild, drinking whisky, and driving fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested? That’s right. Nothing.
 
Keith Richards and his ever present bottle of brown liquor
Keith Richards and his ever present bottle of brown liquor
 
As I mentioned, many of the subjects in this post are unsurprisingly no longer among the living. There are a few notable, now (mostly) reformed booze-hounds still celebrating birthdays and among them is Keith Richards. Keef turned 72 on December 18th and like Ozzy, many refer to Keith as a “medical miracle” of sorts. After reading Richard’s 2010 memoir Life, I felt like I needed to check into rehab after digesting his tales regarding his daily, decades long diet of Jack Daniels and cocaine.

Like many vice-loving individuals, Keith periodically dried out here and there through the years. But 2006 wasn’t one of those times. While filming Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Keith was so loaded on set that it became director Gore Verbinski’s “job” to get Richards’ to “sit up properly.” To anyone who suspected Keith was playing “method” in that film, congratulations! Take two drinks.
 
Pablo Picasso in his studio and bottles of Green Fairy
Pablo Picasso in his studio with a few bottles of the “Green Fairy”
 
Painter Pablo Picasso’s weapon of choice was absinthe and he drank it in alarmingly large quantities. For a time absinthe was a drink only available to the wealthy. But once it was available for mass consumption, even poor starving artists such as Picasso could afford to ride the “green fairy.” Although absinthe became prohibited in many countries in the early 20th century, it remained legal in Picasso’s home base of operations, Spain. In 2010, Picasso’s painting “The Absinthe Drinker” (which if you look at it long enough might make you feel drunk) sold for over 50 million dollars. And as we were just speaking of medical miracles, the hard-drinking Picasso lived to the ripe-old age of 92. Ceremoniously, on his deathbed, Picasso’s parting words were, “Drink to me, drink to my health. You know I can’t drink anymore.”
 
Richard Burton and Elizzabeth Taylor boozing together
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor knocking a few drinks back
 
Probably one of the most famous drunks in Hollywood, it was rumored that actor Richard Burton could throw back four bottles of vodka a day. In 1972 while filming Under Milk Wood, Burton “cut back” to one bottle a day telling director Andrew Sinclair that he “wasn’t drinking” on his film, which to Burton translated to a deviation away from his normal “three or more” bottles a day.
 
Elizabeth Taylor having a drink on the set of the 1963 film, Cleopatra
Elizabeth Taylor having a drink on the set of the 1963 film, Cleopatra
 
Together with Burton’s on-again/off-again drinking partner, Elizabeth Taylor, the pair brought new meaning to the phrase “life imitating art” in the 1966 film, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Taylor wasn’t as much as a heavy drinker as Burton, and he tried to hide his penchant for drinking vodka for breakfast from her during their two marriages. Burton’s tragic relationship with alcohol is excruciatingly detailed in the 2012 book, The Richard Burton Diaries. If you’d like to get the bed spins without having to drink like Burton, you can just read some of the excerpts here.
 
Charles Bukowski in his happy place, in bed drinking with a pretty doll
Charles Bukowski in his happy place, in bed drinking with a pretty doll
 
As there is no shortage of our alcohol-fueled war stories out there that concern all too many of our heros, I’m going to cap off this post with a man who is as synonymous to drinking as anyone else in the history of booze—poet and raconteur, Charles Bukowski. There’s a bar in Prague named for Bukowski who entices its patrons with not only the best cocktails in Zizkov, but also having the “cleanest toilets.” There’s also the Bukowski Tavern in my old hometown of Boston whose website will tell you about “Today’s Fucking Specials” which include “White Trash Cheese Dip” and the “Bukowski Mad Dog,” which is just a hotdog made cooler by attaching Bukowski’s name to it. Neither of which, with all due respect, would have been frequented by Charles Bukowski.
 
Charles Bukowski drinking in a real bar
 
But as food is not a topic drunks much care for anyway, let’s talk about Buk’s liver-drowning drinking habits. When times were good financially, like any drinker, his apartment would be stocked with expensive wine and whiskey. When he was broke, he’d turn to cheap beer for comfort. Like most people, Bukowski started experimenting with booze when he was a teenager and it is strongly rumoured that while he was writing his first novel, 1971’s Post Office, that he would down two six-packs of beer and follow that up with a pint of Cutty Sark. Bukowski once wrote that all he really wanted to do was stay in bed and drink saying that “when you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.” And on that note, I bid you dear Dangerous Mind reader, a Happy New Year. Res ipsa loquitur - Let the good times roll.

h/t: Modern Drunkard

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Dennis Hopper, drunk and stoned with six sticks of dynamite—what could possibly go wrong?

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Wendy O Williams, Bozo the Clown, and more in National Lampoon’s ‘Mad as Hell’


 
Sometime during the mid-‘80s, I stopped buying MAD every month and begun habitually picking up National Lampoon. Both publications were in decline at the time, though in my teens I hadn’t the perspective to know that. I think I was probably flattering myself that the more collegiate content of the Lampoon was more my speed, but in any case, in 1985, I picked up an issue of the Lampoon that I would hang onto for decades to follow.

It was dated November, 1985 and titled “The Mad as Hell Issue.” Apart from a handful of fucked-up cartoons, it featured none of the magazine’s usual content, and instead was an open forum for celebrities of varying degrees of fame from the worlds of show business, publishing, music, et al, to vent about what irked them, and none were written by contemporary NL staffers, though some past names from the publication’s masthead were included. It can easily be found on eBay and Amazon, and naturally it’s part of the CD Rom release of every issue in the magazine’s entire history. Editor Matty Simmons introduced the issue thusly:

This issue of the National Lampoon is completely different from any other issue of the magazine published in its more-than-fifteen-year history. It has, first of all, basically been written by guest contributors, most of whom are not humorists. Second, much of what appears on these pages is not intended to be humorous. In many cases, the text is an expression of absolute anger, or, at least, pique. Other “mad as hell” pieces are indeed written humorously. It’s a mixture. And it’s a fascinating first for this or possibly any other national magazine.

You will read reflections here from governors and mayors and actors and authors and rock stars and directors and other celebrities, and some from people who are not celebrities. They’re just “mad,” and, we think, they express that anger interestingly. Why have we done this?

Maybe because there is so much to be mad about these days. Maybe because we’re all so well informed, so exposed to so many things because of television, we’ve learned to react — good or bad— more than we ever have before. It’s healthy to be “mad as hell” about things you think are wrong. Apathy is a dangerous lack of a state of mind.

Why this departure from an editorial policy which is always all-humor and usually mostly fiction? Because we think it’s an idea that works, and innovation is mostly what we’re about.

And anyway, we took a vote of the entire staff. There was one vote for doing the issue, and nineteen votes against it.

So I won.

The issue included exceptionally thoughtful long-form essays by columnist Jeff Greenfield and filmmaker John Waters, whose piece would be reprinted in Crackpot. There were “Jesus wept” length contributions from actor Mickey Rooney (“People aren’t mad enough about improving things—about themselves or our country.”) and Broadway luminary Hal Prince (“I’m madder than hell at all this trivia!”). The great clown Larry Harmon, who created the extraordinarily famous and durable character Bozo, contributed a piece about the travails of his 1984 in-character presidential run.
 

Click here to enlarge

Plasmatics singer Wendy O Williams offered a photo essay about dickheads who grab their junk:
 

Click here to enlarge

Charles Bukowski and some other unexpected National Lampoon contributors after the jump…

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Baby Charles Bukowski, André the Giant, Frank Sinatra and other rebels hanging at the beach

Andre the Giant at the beach picking up chicks
André the Giant at the beach picking up chicks at Cannes, 1967
 
As I type these words, many of you that are reading them right now are probably in the midst of a pretty nasty heatwave. So I thought posting some amazing photos of people way cooler than us, looking even cooler than usual (with one or two amusing exceptions) while hanging out at the beach was in order.
 
Albert Einstein at the beach, 1945
Albert Einstein, 1945
 
You may have seen a few of the 24 images in this post before, but hopefully the majority will surprise you, especially the one of André the Giant literally picking up chicks at Cannes, or Albert Einstein (above) wearing some interesting footwear while the waves crash around his feet. Whenever possible, I included locations and dates of where and when the photos were taken as some were taken before the subjects became famous. Man, I feel cooler already. More reach-the-beach images follow.
 
AC/DC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1985
AC/DC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1985
 
Slade in swimtrunks at the beach
Slade, 1974
 
Charles Bronson at the beach, 1974
Charles Bronson, 1974
 

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Smoke weed from the heads of Charles Bukowski, Tom Waits, Hunter S. Thompson & other oddballs

Raul Duke and Dr. Gonzo pipes
Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo pipes

I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits - and millions of Americans agree with me.
—Hunter S Thompson

Millions of Americans: “Yes, we do agree. Except for grapefruit. Fuck grapefruit.”

As the “legalize the good shit” wave continues to sweep across the U.S., so do the seemingly endless varieties of marijuana smoking apparatus. Ever wanted a bong that you could strap to your face that looks like Satan? No problem. Now if you happen to be one of those stoners who is always on the lookout for something unique to pack at your next smoke session, today is your lucky day Spicoli.
 
Tom Waits pipe
Tom Waits pipe

It just so happens that a Macedonia-based business called WOOFterrapipe makes ceramic pipes in the images of poets, deviants, and folk heroes like Tom Waits, Walter White and Edgar Allan Poe among others. The only pipe in the collection that puts me off a bit is the one of Charles Bukowski. While I understand that pretty much everybody (including me) and potheads love Buk, Bukowski himself LOATHED potheads. So as a huge fan of the man who wrote words like a wild horse runs, it seems a bit rude to want to fire up a bud of Blue Dream in the back of Bukowski’s little ceramic head.

However, given the choice (and it’s a tough one), I’d rather burn Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo with a little grass, a few beers (and maybe seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, two dozen amyls, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers).
 
Charles Bukowski pipe
Charles Bukowski pipe

More after the jump…

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Charles Bukowski loathed potheads: ‘I like drunkards, man’
12.12.2014
12:17 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski

Bukowski Bottles
 
Despite being a famously proud drunkard of monumental proportions, author/brawler Charles Bukowski didn’t have a lot of nice things to say about other forms of mind-altering pursuits, especially marijuana. The inebriated bard shares his thoughts on drug use in the interview below and it’s anything but your typical “just say no” statement. 

In a discussion that’s more about what you choose to say yes to, Bukowski unsurprisingly embraces alcohol as a life affirming “release of the dream” after a hard day’s work at a shitty job. Then, after categorically classifying himself as being anti-drug, Bukowski does a few impressions of pot smokers as space cadets and asserts that for otherwise intelligent people and even for casual tokers, “all mind circulation and all spirit has been cut off” once Mary Jane enters the picture. 

“Be an alcoholic. If you’ve gotta be anything, be an alcoholic” he says.

This is #10 of the 53 segments that comprise the cult classic The Charles Bukowski Tapes, a collection of short interviews with the writer, videotaped and assembled by Barbet Schroeder in the early 80s. The German director of Barfly shot about about 64 hours of footage during the three-year pre-production period of that film and the segments were culled from that. There are a variety of NSFW comments floating around in this one, so be warned.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Charles Bukowski tells his worst hangover story: ‘The strangest thing just happened…’
Charles Bukowski: ‘I drink, I gamble, I write…’ the making of ‘Barfly’

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Bukowski’s last stand: Hank’s final poetry reading from 1980
10.20.2014
12:04 pm

Topics:
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski
poetry

bukcarsung11.jpg
 
Good and original poets spawn bad and imitative poetry.

Look at all the verbiage spewed out by those green and dappled flecked imitators after Dylan Thomas had one too many on a New York afternoon; or all the poems about PMT, swollen ankles and the indifference of men that came forth after Sylvia Plath’s sad demise; or the short men who swaggered after Charles Bukowski died, juggling six-pack and pen, writing long anaemic poetry about drinking, fighting and love. Yes, good poetry does often inspire bad poets.

It doesn’t always appear after death, sometimes it rubs shoulders with the living poet in hope of capturing some of their spark. I recall when the cool got hip to Bukowski and he appeared in Andy Warhol’s Interview talking with actor Sean Penn, that everyone including Penn was writing long three word a line poems about nothing much in particular, but this how it is if you’re a poet and you know sensitive and you gotta live that kinda life on the edge kinda thing blah-de-blah-de-blah. Suddenly it was hard to find a magazine that didn’t have some sub-Bukowskian ode in it, that looked like the stuff from high school poetry clubs and always made me think of G.K. Chesterton’s line that:

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

Bukowski did not give many readings during his lifetime. Biographers have claimed he hated giving readings, but did it for the two hundred or three hundred dollars to keep him in booze, smokes and a wager on the horses. But this all changed in the 1980s, when money started coming in via checks and royalties for books and film options and Bukowski no longer needed that extra couple of hundred to tide him over. Bukowski gave his last poetry reading at the Sweetwater music club in Redondo Beach, California on March 31, 1980, almost a decade and a half before he died in 1994. The whole reading was (thankfully) filmed by Jon Monday, who left the performance unedited as he believed the sections between Bukowski reading his poems gave some insight into the man and his temperament. It certainly does, as Oliver Hardy would say, and shows why the original poet will always be better than the imitators.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Bukowski, it’s going to be sickening’: Charles Bukowski uncensored and animated
08.14.2014
03:44 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Animation
Heroes

Tags:
Charles Bukowski


 
A candid conversation between Charles Bukowski, his then-wife Linda Lee Beighle and his co-producer John Runnette (the one asking the questions) from the 1993 Run With The Hunted recording session. Although this is just a short snippet of a conversation, it’s a perfect moment that reveals so much about the writer’s private self, which, in fact, doesn’t seem all that different from the version of himself that he presented in his autobiographical novels. I suppose imbibing as much alcohol as Buk did on a daily basis might erase that public/private dividing line quite a bit!

Bukowski: I just don’t love my stuff that much. You know what I’m interested in? What I’m going to type tomorrow night. That’s all that interests me… the next poem, the next fucking line. What’s past is past I don’t want to linger over it, and read it and play with it and jolly it up. it’s gone, it’s done. If you can’t write the next line, well, you’re dead. The past doesn’t matter.

~snip

Bukowski: I think my writing is really pretty fucking powerful stuff but I think after I’m dead and safe, they’re going to trot me out, I’m going to really be discovered you know.

Animation by HarperAudio.
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
John Fante: The renegade writer Bukowski called ‘God’
06.04.2014
04:20 pm

Topics:
Books
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski
John Fante


 
Charles Bukowski described the writer and novelist John Fante as his God—the one man who deeply influenced his own literary career.

Bukowski first discovered Fante’s work while looking for something to read at the Los Angeles Public Library.
 

“I was a young man, starving and drinking and trying to be a writer… It seemed as if everybody was playing word-tricks, that those who said almost nothing at all were considered excellent writers. Their writing was an admixture of subtlety, craft and form, and it was read and it was taught and it was ingested and it was passed on. It was a comfortable contrivance, a very slick and careful Word-Culture… one day I pulled a book down and opened it, and there it was…

“The lines rolled easily across the page, there was a flow. Each line had its own energy and was followed by another like it. The very substance of each line gave the page a form, a feeling of something carved into it. And here, at last, was a man who was not afraid of emotion. The humour and the pain were intermixed with a superb simplicity. The beginning of that book was a wild and enormous miracle to me. I had a library card. I checked the book out, took it to my room, climbed into my bed and read it, and I knew long before I had finished that here was a man who had evolved a distinct way of writing. The book was Ask the Dust and the author was John Fante.”

 

 
Fante was born into a poor, working-class Italian immigrant family in Denver, Colorado, in 1909. The relentless poverty of his childhood, and the family background of a hard-drinking father and devout Catholic mother, were to influence his writing, in particular his autobiographical alter ego, Arturo Bandini. The young Fante was bookish and smart, and enrolled at the University of Colorado, but he dropped out to concentrate on writing. His first success came with the publication of a short story “Altar Boy” in H.L. Mencken’s American Mercury in 1932. From there on, Fante gave his life over to writing short stories, novels and screenplays. He worked for the Hollywood studios, collaborated with Orson Welles, and produced his classic novels Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938) and the book Bukowski described as the best novel ever written, Ask the Dust (1939). When not writing, Fante spent his time drinking and gambling, taking a similar route to the one Bukowski would follow years later.

A Sad Flower in the Sand (2001) was the first major documentary made on John Fante “the renegade author whose highly autobiographical novels illustrate his deep-rooted love of Los Angeles and his struggles working through poverty and prejudice.” Hailed as “an absorbing, film noir portrait,” this film explores Fante’s life, his influences, and his struggle to have his brilliant literary talents recognized. The documentary includes interviews with writer and director Robert Towne, publisher John Martin, biographer Stephen Cooper, and Fante’s wife Joyce and sons, Jim and Dan.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A short tour of Charles Bukowski’s Los Angeles
03.28.2014
11:28 am

Topics:
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski

kub12owla.jpg
 
It’s just over twenty years since Charles Bukowski died on March 9th, 1994. I was in Paris when I heard the news, drinking beer and whisky chasers at a zinc bar, on rue de Lappe, the street where Edith Piaf once sang. It somehow seemed apt to be standing drinking, getting drunk in a bar when hearing the news of that great “drunk” poet’s death. Apt and sad.

I always picture Charles Bukowski at night, in bars, or passing through the neon-lit 7/11 with a six-pack of beers and a carton of cigarettes, back to his house to write endless pages of poetry or prose. I never think of him as out in the sun, tanned under blue LA sky and working for a living. But he did. He had to. He had a variety of jobs and held down twelve years at the Terminal Annex Post Office, 900 N. Almeda St. At nights, held court at 5124 De Longpre Ave.

It’s the association of Bukowski and parties and drinking and fighting and falling-in-and-out of love with women,and getting fired from jobs and waking-up hung-over to start a day drinking all over again. He lived it, but he also worked hard at being a writer. No one could write the quality or amount of poetry and prose if all they did was sit around in bars, fall down drunk and puke their guts out for days. There’s a difference between the telling of a lifestyle, and the living of a life.

This is a beautifully made wee film by multi-media producer Aric Allen that tours what’s left of Charles Bukowski’s LA. From his boyhood home, at 2122 Longwood Ave, to his refuge at the Central Library, to the Grand Central Market where he ate most days, to Musso and Franks on Hollywood Blvd, then on to 1148 W. Santa Cruz St., San Pedro, CA 90731.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bukowski’s poetry used to sell Scotch
09.24.2013
09:27 am

Topics:
Advertising
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski
Scotch

Bukowski
 
A new ad for Dewar’s Scotch whiskey uses Charles Bukowski’s famous poem, “So You Want to Be a Writer,” to hawk their booze. The reading is quite beautiful, the kind of pathos-rendering performance one wishes they had first heard outside of an advertisement. Now, I’m way past caring about hearing my favorite song in a commercial. First of all, no one is dumb enough to think the artist or band is actually endorsing a project. Secondly, making money off of music is really difficult, so I’m pretty sympathetic to whatever artists or their surviving family have to do to make ends meet. This Dewar’s ad however, rubs me the wrong way, and I can’t quite figure out why it’s so different.

Maybe it’s because music is capable of being such a passive experience, while this kind of poetry requires a more focused engagement. Yes, we’ve all gotten wasted, put on the headphones, and listened to ABBA with a fevered intensity (or maybe that’s just me?), but most of the time, we have music playing while we commute, clean the house, type away at work, take care of the kids, or do whatever mundane task the day requires of us. Most music is art that we can fit into the nooks and crannies of our lives—a soundtrack—but this kind of poetry requires a bit of space, and a bit of time.

Or maybe It’s because this poem has always rubbed me the wrong way, as an anthem of creative onus. I’ve always felt it odd that someone would list off the many “wrong” ways to make art, as if it’s some sort of orthodox religion. And the idea that art should only be produced in a flash of inspiration or passion has been argued against by so many artists. Sometimes things take time, first drafts, second drafts, 134th drafts. Sometimes the failures and near-misses of creation are what’s necessary to really transform a project into something great. Sometimes creation is a schlep. Sometimes ideas and work needs to age (like a good whiskey!).

Or maybe I just don’t like the ad because I think Dewar’s is terrible Scotch?
 

 
Via Open Culture

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Charles Bukowski’s F.B.I. file
09.03.2013
12:40 pm

Topics:
Books
Heroes
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski
F.B.I.

wokubsetondlonam 
 
In 1968, Charles Bukowski became a person of interest to the F.B.I. because of his writing for an underground newspaper.

Bukowski wrote a scurrilous and highly entertaining column, “notes of a dirty old man” for Open City. This column caused enough offense to the Postal Services and the F.B.I. that there was an investigation into the life and morals of the literary mailman.

What emerges from the 113-page file is a portrait of a man who was regularly absent from work, who enjoyed a drink, was considered a “draft-dodger”, and was once married to “Jane S. Cooney”—the “Jane” of many of his most heartfelt poems. Nothing new there. Though the finks at the F.B.I. did add their own literary pique by describing Bukowski’s work as “highly romanticized.”

Read the whole document here.
 
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Via bukowski.net, h/t Open Culture
 
More pages from Buk’s FBI File, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bukowski reading ‘Something for the Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks And You’


 
Happy birthday Bukowski. You are seriously missed.

“Something for The Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks And You” is Charles Bukowski at his absolute best—angry, bitter, sad, beautiful and funny. From the 1974 collection Burning In Water, Drowning In Flame.

The video is composed of found footage and excerpts from the works of Arthur Lipsett and Gregory Markopoulos.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Charles Bukowski on censorship
05.20.2013
01:28 pm

Topics:
Books
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski


 
A letter from Charles Bukowski to journalist Hans van den Broek in response to Bukowski’s book Tales of Ordinary Madness being removed from the Public Library in Nijmegen in 1985.

Tales of Ordinary Madness was described by the library as “very sadistic, occasionally fascist and discriminatory against certain groups (including homosexuals).”

7-22-85

Dear Hans van den Broek:

Thank you for your letter telling me of the removal of one of my books from the Nijmegen library. And that it is accused of discrimination against black people, homosexuals and women. And that it is sadism because of the sadism.

The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth.

If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women it is because of these who I met were that. There are many “bads”—bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even “bad” white males. Only when you write about “bad” white males they don’t complain about it. And need I say that there are “good” blacks, “good” homosexuals and “good” women?

In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of “sadism” it is because it exists, I didn’t invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds. In my writing I do not always agree with what occurs, nor do I linger in the mud for the sheer sake of it. Also, it is curious that the people who rail against my work seem to overlook the sections of it which entail joy and love and hope, and there are such sections. My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually of the “light” and never mentioned the other, then as an artist I would be a liar.

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can’t vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist.

I am not dismayed that one of my books has been hunted down and dislodged from the shelves of a local library. In a sense, I am honored that I have written something that has awakened these from their non-ponderous depths. But I am hurt, yes, when somebody else’s book is censored, for that book, usually is a great book and there are few of those, and throughout the ages that type of book has often generated into a classic, and what was once thought shocking and immoral is now required reading at many of our universities.

I am not saying that my book is one of those, but I am saying that in our time, at this moment when any moment may be the last for many of us, it’s damned galling and impossibly sad that we still have among us the small, bitter people, the witch-hunters and the declaimers against reality. Yet, these too belong with us, they are part of the whole, and if I haven’t written about them, I should, maybe have here, and that’s enough.

may we all get better together,
yrs,

Charles Bukowski


 
Via Letters of Note

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Charles Bukowski tells his worst hangover story: ‘The strangest thing just happened…’
01.18.2013
12:26 pm

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It involves a lot of cheap wine, puking and… well, I don’t want to spoil it, I’ll just let him tell it.
 

 
Via The World’s Best Ever

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