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Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook: Uncollected Stories and Essays, 1944-1990

Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook: Uncollected Stories and Essays, 1944-1990

by Charles Bukowski, David Calonne (Editor)

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Important, uncollected work from one of the most infamous, over-the-top writers of American literature.


Important, uncollected work from one of the most infamous, over-the-top writers of American literature.

Editorial Reviews

Gerald Locklin
[Bukowski] could be generous and mean-spirited, heroic and defensive, spot-on and slanted, but he became the world-class writer he had set out to be; he has joined the permanent anti-canon or shadow-canon whose denizens had shown him the way. Today the frequent allusions to him in both popular and mainstream culture tend more to respect than mockery. If scholarship has lagged, this book would indicate that this situation is changing.
Resources for American Literary Study
From the Publisher

"Bukowski's strength is in the sheer bulk of his contents, the virulent anecdotal sprawl, the melodic spleen without the fetor of the parlor or the classroom, as if he were writing while straddling a cement wall or sitting on a bar stool, the seat of which is made of thorns."-Jim Harrison, NY Times, 2007

"It features a wealth of previously uncollected Bukowski material, including his first published short stories, book reviews, essays on literature, U.S. politics, his writing craft, biographical accounts, entries from his famous NOTES of a DIRTY OLD MAN newspaper column, tips on how to win at the racetrack and even a review of a Rolling Stones concert. David Stephen Calonne provides a lucid and highly learned introduction to the book. . . . No Bukophile should miss out on this book."--Bold Monkey

Beat Scene 56
Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook is mightily essential reading for all Bukowski fans, old and new.
Los Angeles Times' "Jacket Copy" Blog
The newly released 'Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook' pulls together as-yet uncollected essays and stories by Charles Bukowski, written from 1944-1990. Some were published in places like 'Rolling Stone'; others showed up in fleeting literary journals and porn mags. The selections include the first of his 'Notes From a Dirty Old Man,' a series that appeared in multiple magazines, and the first short story he published, which pointed out his lack of prior publication: 'Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip.'
The Bloomsbury Review
This is a valuable addition to the expanding, some might say morbidly obese, bulk of posthumous Bukowski titles. It's not just another agglomeration of odds and soda, unfinished drafts, and scraps that weren't good enough to publish the first time around, flaws that characterized his recent output and which even his most fervent acolytes must realize. No, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook is a different animal. . . . This collection is also unique in that it offers a glimpse of Bukowski as nonfiction writer. . . . Most of his work, in fact, occupies a murky uncertain terrain, a lawless border town where poetry, fiction, and memoir meet for a light lunch. In some of these essays, we meet a writer of criticism and manifestos, reminding us that Bukowski was never simply a primitive naif but rather a disciplined, self-aware, thoughtful, and widely read artisan. It took a lot of hard work to make it seem otherwise.
—Andrew Madigan
Charleston City Paper
In digging up more fragments from the author's vast (and uneven) library, editor David Stephen Calonne. . . reveals many of the Dirty Old Man's less-than-savory peccadilloes, but also his singular significance to 20th-century American literature. . . Over the course of the 35-plus pieces in this collection, Bukowski makes full use of his Muse, touching on nearly all his favorite topics: drinking, women, sex ('Workout' could carry an X rating), fighting, horse-racing, the drudgery of the nine-to-five. . . Portions From a Wine-Stained Notebook is a welcome addition to the growing Bukowski library.
—Eric Liebetrau
Library Journal

This volume is filled with 36 short selections of prose by the late Bukowski, who is especially known for his poetry (e.g., Bone Palace Ballet). Via short stories and nonfiction-introductions to the work of other writers, book reviews, and autobiographical accounts-the reader is taken on a roller-coaster ride through the waxing and waning lucidity and sometimes depravity of Bukowski's trademark topics (perhaps obsessions): sex, drinking, writing, and self-deprecating. Delving into social commentary, such as his observation that society is more interested in an artist's personal life than artistic creations, Bukowski also documents the most private moments of his life, seemingly giving society what it wants. Describing in painful detail the abuse he suffered as a child, his antisocial interactions with others, strange sexual encounters, and ongoing battles with alcoholism and depression, this author remains astoundingly unique. Some will declare him an artistic genius, while others will agree with Bukowski's own depictions of himself as a dirty old man. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.
—David L. Reynolds

Kirkus Reviews
More posthumous uncollected prose from the Dirty Old Man. Calonne (English/Eastern Michigan Univ.; William Saroyan: My Real Work Is Being, 1983, etc.), who previously edited a volume of Bukowski's interviews, digs up a few more fragments from the author's vast-and scattershot-oeuvre. As with many "uncollected" selections, the results are a mixed bag, but Bukowski's gruff directness and take-no-crap attitude shine through. Discussing his style in "Basic Training," he writes, "I hurled myself toward my personal god: SIMPLICITY. The tighter and smaller you got it the less chance there was of error and the lie. Genius could be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way." Certainly, much of Bukowski's genius lay in his plainspoken, immediate, self-assured prose, but his constant attack on the literary establishment also earned him accolades-and scorn-from fellow writers and critics. He held special contempt for pretentious elitists, those, as Calonne eloquently notes in his illuminating introduction, "who tried to domesticate the sacred barbaric Muse: the disruptive, primal, archaic, violent, inchoate forces of the creative unconscious." In the more than 35 pieces that comprise the volume, Bukowski runs through all his favorite topics-drinking, fighting, women, horse-racing ("A track is some place you go so you won't stare at the walls and whack off, or swallow ant poison")-but he's at his most lucid and powerful when he explores the process of writing, both his own and others (Artaud, Hemingway, his hero John Fante). There's a neat deconstruction of Ezra Pound, excerpts from his "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" column and a peripatetic review of a Rolling Stones concert. Though a few ofthe selections are little more than ill-formed rants, probably originally scrawled across a bar napkin, there is plenty of the visceral, potent, even graphically sexual (tame readers beware of "Workout") material to satisfy fans. Not for novices, but a welcome addition to Bukowski's growing library.

Product Details

City Lights Books
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8.94(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.79(d)

What People are Saying About This

Jerry Stahl
Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook is as vivid, bad-ass, screamingly funny, and gutter-angelic as the man himself. (Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight, Perv, Plainclothes Naked, and I, Fatty.)
John Martin
Finally...David Calonne has unearthed Portions...the previously missing link in Bukowski's oeuvre that suddenly makes everything come clear. (John Martin, Black Sparrow Press)
Eileen Myles
He [Bukowski] wrote American. When it meant something good. Fucked up, male, but incredibly true. In a distinct rhythm. (Eileen Myles, author of Sorry, Tree and Cool for You)

Meet the Author

Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany in 1920 and brought to Los Angeles at age three. Using the city as a backdrop for his work, Bukowski wrote prolifically, publishing over fifty volumes of poetry and prose. He died in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994. His books are widely translated and posthumous volumes continue to appear. David Calonne is the editor of a previous book of uncollected Bukowski, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, as well as a volume of interviews, Charles Bukowski: Sunshine Here I Am. He presently teaches at East Michigan University.

Brief Biography

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

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