Skip to content

Reflections of a working writer and reader

 

 

Sometimes You Just Have To Pee In The Sink

The old bungalow on De Longpre Avenue, the house where Charles Bukowski wrote many of his best known novels and became the voice of Los Angeles, is now the subject of a dispute between preservationists, who want to turn it into a monument, and the owners of the property who claim that the writer was a Nazi sympathiser and want him to be forgotten.

“This man loved Hitler,” Ms Gureyeva, who is Jewish, told the LA Weekly newspaper. “This is my house, not Bukowski’s. I will never allow the city of Los Angeles to turn it into a monument for this man.”

Gerald Locklin, author of the biography Charles Bukowski: A Sure Bet, said he found no evidence of anti-Semitism in Bukowski’s work or the correspondence he shared with the author.

Bukowski, who was credited with the title of this post, was controversial in his lifetime, and, it seems, the story over the fate of his home is going to run on for a little while yet.

5 Responses to “Sometimes You Just Have To Pee In The Sink”

  1. Shawn says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Bukowski’s, some of his stories can be very entertaining, but there is all too often a lot of macho braggadocio to wade through. I doubt that Bukowski “loved Hitler”, but he does strike me as the kind of guy who would get a kick out of horrifying his Jewish landlord by letting her believe that he was a Nazi sympathizer. Seems more in character for him, bad character that he was.

    jb says: Yeah, Shawn, what I know about the guy you may well be right.

  2. Jim Murdoch says:

    Perhaps it’s just me but I’d tear the place down and be done with it. I’m a writer and the only monument I’d like to see are my books still in print after I die. The pens I have written with are implements, nothing more. I wrote big chunks of my last book with a Cross fountain pen my daughter gave me in a yellow legal pad I bought to see why Woody Allen always uses them. So what? Some of it was written in a flat overlooking the Clyde (mind you my desk was facing the wall so no inspiration there) and the rest in a flat overlooking the Dumbarton Hills (and my desk is pretty much still facing the wall, just a different wall). The rooms themselves were simply where I happened to be. Or are we going to track down the No 44 bus where I first got the idea for my short story collection and bolt a plaque onto its side? We were sitting outside a Black & Lizars Opticians on Hope Street in Glasgow if that helps. Maybe we could just nail the plaque there. It’s the thought that counts.

    jb says: Thanks, Jim; that info is gonna come in really handy one day. Not too soon though, eh?
    ps. Can I have your glasses?

  3. Spencer says:

    i assume i’m awfully late to the party on this one, but something tells me that Bukowski would be more amused that they want to save the place than really giving a you-know-what about it being saved.

    jb says: Yeah, he’d see the funny side, Spencer.

  4. Isadora Othman says:

    I can imagine his ghost, more than in life, interrupting the fray with a short blast, “who give a f*****’in ____ what happens. What about the cosmic panoply around you? Look up, you dumb animals, look up!” In other words, with the same meaning, Prince Buddha would have said about the same thing. Worshipers should shoot and film the heck out of it, then back out of the way of the wrecking ball.

  5. blackHat says:

    Ms. Gureyeva is afraid that if the city grants the house historical status, she’ll lose out on potential profits from renting or selling the property. It’s about money, not about Bukowski, whom i imagine laughing at the very idea of giving the house historical status. Insofar as can be ascertained from his work, he didn’t attach much importance to the various places he lived.

    Regardless, saying he “loved Hitler” is bullshit. The few times Bukowski mentions Hitler, it’s symbolically; representative of evil at its utmost extreme.