The Continual Condition [NOOK Book]

Overview

A volume of never-before-collected poems from America’s most imitated and influential poet

In the literary pantheon, Charles Bukowski remains a counterculture icon. A hard-drinking wild man of literature, a stubborn outsider to the poetry world, he has struck a chord with generations of readers, writing raw, tough poetry about booze, work, and women that speaks to his fans as being "real" and, like the work of the Beats, even dangerous.

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The Continual Condition

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Overview

A volume of never-before-collected poems from America’s most imitated and influential poet

In the literary pantheon, Charles Bukowski remains a counterculture icon. A hard-drinking wild man of literature, a stubborn outsider to the poetry world, he has struck a chord with generations of readers, writing raw, tough poetry about booze, work, and women that speaks to his fans as being "real" and, like the work of the Beats, even dangerous.

Edited by his longtime publisher John Martin of Black Sparrow Press, The Continual Condition includes more of this legend's never-before-collected poems.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sex, self-disgust, horse racing, literary fame and obscurity, delight in foul language ("dry and ridiculous bungholes"), and fleeting but genuine pleasures (from voyeurism to eating a spider crab): Bukowski's many, many remaining fans will find familiar themes in this 12th set of previously unpublished poems to appear since the Los Angeles writer died in 1994. "The god-damned editors don't know anything," he tells "the lady on the couch," and indeed he insists on the life, the meat, of the poems. Short lines dominate this particular cull of verse, with plenty of quoted conversation mixed in; as with most of his work, misanthropy rules, making the flashes of mercy-and of sexual acceptance-shine bright indeed: "I was/ sick and I/ turned to look out the/ window/ white yellow grease of/ morning/ burning my/ eyes./ Next to me in bed/ there she was." The poems may repeat themselves, but they stay true to Bukowski. Few people would want to trade places with this poet for whom "pain sits, pain floats, pain/ waits;/ pain is," but plenty will continue to cherish his unpretentious words.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061942679
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 742,424
  • File size: 358 KB

Meet the Author

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowsk is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of three. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944 when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

Biography

During the course of his long, prolific literary career, Charles Bukowski was known as a poet, novelist, short story writer, and journalist. But it is as a cult figure, an "honorary beat" who chronicled his notorious lifestyle in raw, unflinching poetry and prose, that he is best remembered. Born in the aftermath of World War I to a German mother and an American serviceman of German descent, he was brought to the U.S. at the age of three and raised in Los Angeles. By all accounts, his childhood was lonely and unhappy: His father beat him regularly, and he suffered from debilitating shyness and a severely disfiguring case of acne. By his own admission, he underwent a brief flirtation with the far right, associating as a teenager with Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. After high school, he attended Los Angeles City College for two years, studying art, literature, and journalism before dropping out.

Although two of his stories were published in small literary magazines while he was still in his early 20s, Bukowski became discouraged by his lack of immediate success and gave up writing for ten years. During this time he drifted around the country, working odd jobs; fraternizing with bums, hustlers, and whores; and drinking so excessively that he nearly died of a bleeding ulcer.

In the late 1950s, Bukowski returned to writing, churning out copious amounts of poetry and prose while supporting himself with mind-numbing clerical work in the post office. Encouraged and mentored by Black Sparrow Press publisher John Martin, he finally quit his job in 1969 to concentrate on writing full time. In 1985, he married his longtime girlfriend Linda Lee Beighle. Together they moved to San Pedro, California, where Bukowski began to live a saner, more stable existence. He continued writing until his death from leukemia in 1994, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

Bukowski mined his notorious lifestyle for an oeuvre that was largely autobiographical. In literally thousands of poems, he celebrated the skid row drunks and derelicts of his misspent youth; and, between 1971 and 1989, he penned five novels (Post Office, Factotum, Women, Ham on Rye, and Hollywood) featuring Henry Chinaski, an alcoholic, womanizing, misanthrope he identified as his literary alter ego. (He also wrote the autobiographical screenplay for the 1987 film Barfly, starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.) Yet, for all the shock value of his graphic language and violent, unlovely images, Bukowski's writing retains a startling lyricism. Today, years after his death, he remains one of the 20th century's most influential and widely imitated writers.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      August 16, 1920
    2. Place of Birth:
      Andernach, Germany
    1. Date of Death:
      March 9, 1994
    2. Place of Death:
      San Pedro, California
    1. Education:
      Los Angeles City College, 2 years

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 11, 2010

    Charles Bukowski keeps your mind working

    Charles Bukowski keeps your mind working. I guess it is up to each individual as to whether it is good business or bad. I read the "Buk" when I find myself having a rosy day. He is the weed that gives beauty to the scabby front yard of reality. Makes you appreciate the rose in a fleeting kind of way. I'd wish you all luck but that would jinx the whole deal.

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