Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), one of the most outrageous and controversial figures of 20th-century American literature, was so prolific that many important pieces were never collected during his lifetime. Portions is a substantial selection of these wide-ranging works, most of which have been unavailable since their original appearance in underground newspapers, literary journals, even porno mags. Among the highlights are his first published short story, "e;Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip"e;; his last short story, "e;The Other"e;; his first and last essays; and the first installment of his famous "e;Notes of a Dirty Old Man"e; column. The book contains meditations on his familiar themes (drinking, horse-racing, etc.) as well as singular discussions of such figures as Artaud, Pound, and the Rolling Stones. Other significant works include the experimental title piece; a fictionalized account of meeting his hero, John Fante ("e;I Meet the Master"e;); an unflinching review of Hemingway ("e;An Old Drunk Who Ran Out of Luck"e;); the intense, autobiographical "e;Dirty Old Man Confesses"e;; and several discussions of his aesthetics ("e;A Rambling Essay on Poetics and the Bleeding Life Written While Drinking a Six-Pack (Tall),"e; "e;In Defense of a Certain Type of Poetry, a Certain Type of Life, a Certain Type of Blood-Filled Creature Who Will Someday Die,"e; and "e;Upon the Mathematics of the Breath and the Way"e;, revealing an unexpectedly learned mind behind his seemingly offhand productions.
Portions From a Wine-Stained Notebook is essential reading for Bukowski fans, as well as a good introduction for new readers of this innovative, unconventional writer.
"e;Finally, after Bukowski's nearly 50 published books: novels, short stories, poetry, letters, essays, etc. David Calonne has unearthed Portions From a Wine-Stained Notebook, the previously missing link in Bukowski's oeuvre that suddenly makes everything come clear."e; John Martin, Black Sparrow Press
"e;You know, I just think this is really hot. Among its many gifts, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook has one of the best lesbian sex scenes I ever read. I read Bukowski standing up one day in a bookstore (City Lights) and thought he did it too. What Henry Miller did. He wrote American. When it meant something good. Fucked up, male, but incredibly true. In a distinct rhythm."e; Eileen Myles, author of Sorry, Tree and Cool for You
"e;Bukowski wrote the way he lived, and Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook is as vivid, bad-ass, screamingly funny, and gutter-angelic as the man himself. Reading these stories and essays, you can hear the beating heart of the poet in every line. Bukowski never wasted a word, and this collection should go far towards shining a light on prose in danger of being lost in the shadow of its larger-than-life author. Those new to his work will have the good fortune of discovering a writer who could break your heart, make you howl, and slap you off your bar-stool you in a single sentence. In a world long since gone lousy with faux hard-living typers and posers, he was the original."e; Jerry Stahl author of Permanent Midnight, Perv, Plainclothes Naked, and I, Fatty.
Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including books published by City Lights Publishers such as Notes of a Dirty Old Man, More Notes of a Dirty Old Man, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town, Tales of Ordinary Madness, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, and Absence of the Hero.