Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Last year marked the 70th anniversary of the novel "Ask the Dust," by John Fante.

While today it's recognized as a pre-Beats classic of American literature, it may not have been so if it had not been for Bukowski.

As a struggling young writer trolling the streets of Los Angeles, (just like 'Dust' protagonist Arturo Bandini), Bukowski had stumbled upon a copy of the book in the public library. Fante immediately became a huge influence on the younger man's writing, to the point where Bukowski would later declare that "Fante was my god."

Buk went on to introduce the novel to his publisher, John Martin. Martin recognized the novel as a classic and Fante as a major writer, and soon republished it from his Black Sparrow Press where, over the next three-plus decades it would slowly gather a large, adoring audience, while reaping seemingly endless critical praise.

To read all about it, click HERE.

Without Buk's endorsement it probably wouldn't have been made in a feature film with Colin Farrel and Salma Hayek, available on DVD. Check out this trailer to the pretty damn good film.

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  1. i owe bukowski for this Book, and Fante for Knut Hamsun's hunger. The movie was great as well.

  2. Interesting stuff, Anthony. Really. You point stuff out to me I never knew before. Like the movie... why haven't I seen it? I'll be looking it up now, though.
    By the way, how AWESOME is the book cover? That deserves to be framed and hung on a wall.

  3. Thanks for the info Anthony. Like Cathy says, how come I've not heard of the movie? Was it a straight to DVD film? I'll certainly be looking out for it.

    Regards, David.

  4. It takes only one 'right' person to break through...sometimes you don't even have to be that good, though that is not the case for Fante.
    Great history, Anthony, that serves as a good reminder too.

  5. Fascinating what and who influences us, and how one can pay it forward. I feel like I learn more from your site about these people than I could reading biographies. Perhaps its because you walk the walk. Great post.

  6. Wow, they don't make covers like that anymore. So detailed and catchy for the eye. No wonder Bukowski picked it up.


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