How Dangerous Is Reason ?

How Dangerous Is Reason ? And how to become a writer ?


«To not have entirely wasted one’s life
seems to be a worthy accomplishment
if only for myself.»

«Unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut» — Charles Bukowski wrote in his famous poem («So You Want To Be a Writer») about what it takes to be a writer «— don’t do it.» But Bukowski himself was a late bloomer in the journey of finding one’s purpose, as his own «it» — that irrepressible impulse to create — took decades to coalesce into a career.

The «Goldener Handschuh» (Golden Glove) in Hamburg – where one could experience an unwanted blow–job underneath the table – performed by old aged and retired persons.

Sie hatte gewaltige Schenkel und ein sehr gutes Lachen …
She had huge thighs and a very good laugh …

«Hello, it’s good to be back!» When Charles Bukowski came to Germany in May 1978 imvited by the «2001—publishing house», he only wanted to do a single reading. This took place in Hamburg’s «Markthalle», where usually the hot newcomers of the rock scene came out on stage and read in front of over 1.200 fans, opponents, rubbernecks, rockers, representatives of the culture – glitterati and groupies. And as a matter of course within the reach of a refrigerator, which constantly supplied him with fresh drinks.


In einem Interview äußerte sich Bukowski 1970 voller Stolz über die Übersetzung seiner «Notes of a Dirty Old Man» durch Carl Weissner ins Deutsche. (Nebenbei: Es war der Augsburger Verleger Benno Käsmayr, der ihn hier etablierte und verlegte – unter Mithife von – und selbstverständlich mit den Übersetzungen Carl Weissner’s) — und dann auch über die Rezension seiner «Aufzeichnungen» im «Spiegel», den er seinerzeit als «a kind of German ‹Newsweek›» bezeichnete. Aufschneiderisch behauptete er: «The Germans love me for some reason — they like my stuff (…)»

In an interview, Bukowski made a proud statement about the translation of his «Notes of a Dirty Old Man» by Carl Weissner in 1970. (By the way – it was the Augsburg publisher Benno Käsmayr, who established him over here — and published Bukowski with the help and naturally Weissner’s translations) — and then about the review of his «Notes» in the «Spiegel» (a German weekly magazine) which at the time he called «a kind of German ‹Newsweek›.» Somewhat boasting he claimed: «The Germans love me for some reason — they like my stuff (…)»


Aside: Before Benno came into play, a certain Melzer–Publishing House from Darmstadt cut a large melon – publishing the «Notes of a Dirty Old Man» for the first time in German language. Which led on September 27th 1970 to the bewilderingly mislabelling «He’s an American from Augsburg in Bavaria» in the «Spiegel»…

Nebenbei: Bevor Benno ins Spiel kam, machte ein gewisser Melzer–Verlag aus Darmstadt einen guten Schnitt – und verlegte die «Notes of a Dirty Old Man» zum ersten Mal in Deutscher Sprache. Dies wiederum führte am 27. September 1970 zu jener sehr eigentümlichen Fehletikettierung im «Spiegel»: Er sei ein Amerikaner aus Augsburg in Bayern


We wouldn’t have this extensive Bukowski–Culture, publications and reception over here in his native country if it wasn’t for people like Käsmayr and Weissner. Whereas Weissner performed his job as a biographical photographer, Benno took this nice series of portraits:

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