Friday, August 16, 2013

When The Going Gets Big, The Really Big Get...


In the end, Charles Bukowski became more than just a self-made man.

In all kinds of ways.

One of which was that he lived long enough to see his life's work start to pay-off.

So much so that big publishers started offering him real money to write stuff.

In advance.

But that doesn't mean he forgot the folks that helped him through the lean years.

Case in point, the following is a from a letter Bukowski wrote to one publisher that came calling in February of 1993, one year before he died:

Hello Daniel Halpern:

I'm glad that 'musings' worked for you.

Update bio? Harper-Collins to issue RUN WITH THE HUNTED, a Charles Bukowski reader, April 1993. I am about 2/3rds finished with a detective novel, PULP, "dedicated to bad writing."

Thank you for the thought of doing a book of "musings". But all my work is promised John Martin and Black Sparrow Press. He was there when nobody else was, I can't forget that. On the Harper-Collins book they simply purchased rights to rerun certain portions of work already published by Black Sparrow, crediting John Martin as editor. I am glad that "musings" workd well for you and I am still honored and look forward to seeing them in Antaeus...

Helluva a guy, as well as a kinghell of an artist, I'd say.

And he turns up in the following song, written by Sean Kangataran, that I covered awhile back...

And go read the letter in full, posted up here by the WSJ's Barbara Chai early today (which would have been Bukowski's 93rd birthday), to read about what he thought of makers of music vs. makers of literature...


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