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The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way:…
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The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way: On Writers and Writing (edizione 2018)

di Charles Bukowski (Autore)

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The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way, Charles Bukowski considers the art of writing, and the art of living as writer. Bringing together a variety of previously uncollected stories, columns, reviews, introductions, and interviews, this book finds him approaching the dynamics of his chosen profession with cynical aplomb, deflating pretensions and tearing down idols armed with only a typewriter and a bottle of beer. Beginning with the title piece-a serious manifesto disguised as off-handed remarks en route to the racetrack-The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way runs through numerous tales following the author's adventures at poetry readings, parties, film sets, and bars, and also features an unprecedented gathering of Bukowski's singular literary criticism. From classic authors like Hemingway to underground legends like d.a. levy to his own stable of obscure favorites, Bukowski uses each occasion to expound on the larger issues around literary production. The book closes with a handful of interviews in which he discusses his writing practices and his influences, making this a perfect guide to the man behind the myth and the disciplined artist behind the boozing brawler. Born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) is the author of over forty-five books of poetry and prose. David Stephen Calonne has written several books and edited four previous volumes of uncollected Bukowski for City Lights.… (altro)
Utente:novilleladean
Titolo:The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way: On Writers and Writing
Autori:Charles Bukowski (Autore)
Info:City Lights Publishers (2018), Edition: First Edition, 296 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way: On Writers and Writing di Charles Bukowski

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A collection of Charles Bukowski's writing and some interviews, mainly concentrating of his views on writing and writers.

He took writing seriously, but not necessarily himself. It was a vocation, and less. "Anything but the eight-hour day and good honest labor." But as the interviews and writing show Bukowski endured years of just that before he made the break and became a writer full time.

This book covers some old ground but also fills in parts about Bukowski's life and philosophy as a writer that may not have been gleaned from his other writing. ( )
  Hagelstein | Jul 19, 2020 |
Some poets wrote for beauty or truth or insight. Some wrote to get the girls. Charles Bukowski wrote for effect. He wanted readers to feel. His prose – essays - are assemblages of weakness, drunkeness, raunch, and above all, vulgarity. If there ever was an anti-hero, an unsympathetic role model, he can be found in Bukowski. The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way on Writers and Writing is a collection that puts Bukowski into perspective. There are columns, essays, introductions, book reviews and transcripts of interviews – and no poetry. From them, the man and the sham both become apparent.

It’s strange rereading these pieces in 2018. In the 1970s they were outrageous and groundbreaking. They had shock value and revealed a demi-monde most readers of the alternate press had little contact with or knowledge of. Today, the Bukowski style can be found in alternative weeklies everywhere, making it commonplace. But worse is that the country has become so vulgar, led by the president himself, the essays often seem amusingly tame.

For all his drunken life, Bukowski studied writers. He learned what made them good, where they were weak and what made them commercial. His book reviews though, were totally undisciplined meanderings that went on too long and sometimes had nothing to do with the author or the book. Bukowski wrote for himself, edited little and never planned. He spoke through his alcohol-lubricated fingers and was happy with his monologues.

His knowledge of writers fed only a need to shock, not to emulate. It started in college where he assumed the profile of a Nazi, so people would notice and remember him: “…The hatred is so nice. It sets you free. When you’re hated, you can’t fail.” It is ironic, because when he became successful, he shunned the limelight. He much preferred his isolation, where he could pound on a typewriter amid bottles of beer and wine, with classical music in the background. R. Crumb’s cartoon cover image captures it perfectly, as specified by Bukowski.

Bukowski never wanted any part of the mainstream. He was in his fifties before he ever applied for a grant. He favored the “littles” – the low circulation alternative presses, which paid poorly or not at all. He claimed he earned 30 cents a day writing poetry in the 1960s.

I didn’t bother to count, but my impression is his two most common descriptors are drunk and vomit. Besides drinking, his favorite activity was horse racing – losing big. He all but lived in bars across the USA, drifting from city to city, taking menial, manual labor jobs. His longest stint was at the post office – ten miserable years - where he finally decided to make an actual living off his writing, and quit. The result was fascination around the world. It was gratitude for blunt, seemingly honest descriptions of the hard life. He had no position on religion or politics or even exploitation of the worker. He could not afford a television until late in life so he was not up on anything in pop culture. He simply extrapolated from his bizarre day. And while most of it was at least based on himself, he exaggerated mightily to make the stories attractive. It still works.

David Wineberg ( )
1 vota DavidWineberg | Feb 9, 2018 |
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The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way, Charles Bukowski considers the art of writing, and the art of living as writer. Bringing together a variety of previously uncollected stories, columns, reviews, introductions, and interviews, this book finds him approaching the dynamics of his chosen profession with cynical aplomb, deflating pretensions and tearing down idols armed with only a typewriter and a bottle of beer. Beginning with the title piece-a serious manifesto disguised as off-handed remarks en route to the racetrack-The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way runs through numerous tales following the author's adventures at poetry readings, parties, film sets, and bars, and also features an unprecedented gathering of Bukowski's singular literary criticism. From classic authors like Hemingway to underground legends like d.a. levy to his own stable of obscure favorites, Bukowski uses each occasion to expound on the larger issues around literary production. The book closes with a handful of interviews in which he discusses his writing practices and his influences, making this a perfect guide to the man behind the myth and the disciplined artist behind the boozing brawler. Born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) is the author of over forty-five books of poetry and prose. David Stephen Calonne has written several books and edited four previous volumes of uncollected Bukowski for City Lights.

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