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Palgrave Macmillan

Charles Bukowski, King of the Underground

From Obscurity to Literary Icon

ISBN 9781137343543
Publication Date September 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series American Literature Readings in the Twenty-First Century

Charles Bukowski was a product of the small press movement, an unparalleled phenomenon in the so-called little magazines that proliferated in the United States during the 60s. His long journey through the 'littles' and the small presses was finally rewarded after bitter battles in the back alleys of the American literary scene. This critical study offers a comprehensive picture of the literary magazines, underground newspapers, and small press publications that had an impact on Charles Bukowski's early career. Abel Debritto draws on archives, privately held, unpublished work, and interviews to shed new light on the ways in which Bukowski became an icon in the alternative literary scene in the 1960s.

Abel Debritto is a Fulbright Scholar at Brown University, USA. He is currently working on the Modernist Journals Project, a globally renowned project in the Digital Humanities.

List of Permissions
Preface for the King; Michael Basinski


1 'Who's Big in the Littles'
2 The Insider Within
3 A Towering Giant with Small Feet
4 Stealing the Limelight
5 Curtain Calls

Works Cited

Michael Basinski, University at Buffalo, USA


"As far as scholarship is concerned, it's the best, most needed, and important book ever written and published on Hank's writing and career. I did not realize that such a crazy patchwork of rumor and inaccurate speculation constituted the current state of Bukowski 'scholarship.' Debritto corrects, or questions, much of this rumor and misinformation and builds an invaluable foundation for further academic inquiry. I think sound future Bukowski scholarship will now be possible only because this book. Debritto has done a masterful job." - John Martin, Publisher of Black Sparrow Press
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