David Stephen Calonne on Charles Bukowski

Editor David Stephen Calonne joins City Lights to celebrate the release of The Bell Tolls for No One, a book of previously uncollectTheBelled pulp fiction by everyone’s favorite dirty old man, Charles Bukowski. Beginning with the illustrated, unpublished 1947 story, A Kind, Understanding Face, continuing through his famous underground newspaper column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, and concluding with his hardboiled contributions to 1980s glossy adult magazines, The Bells Tolls for No One encompasses the entire range of Bukowski’s talent as a short story writer, from straight-up genre stories to postmodern blurring of fact and fiction. Designed not only for Bukowski fans, but also for readers new to his work, the book contains an informative introduction by editor David Stephen Calonne that provides historical context for these seemingly scandalous and chaotic tales, revealing the hidden hand of the master at the top of his form. Also included are several of Bukowski’s own illustrations.

Born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, Charles Bukowski 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 would eventually publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose. He died of leukemia in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994.

David Stephen Calonne has edited three previous books of uncollected prose by Charles Bukowski for City Lights. He is the author of several books, including the critical study Charles Bukowski, and the editor of Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am/Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993.

Interview with David Stephen Calonne

City Lights sits down for a one-on-one interview with David Stephen Calonne, editor of the recently released The Bell Tolls for No One, a book of previously uncollected pulp fiction from Charles Bukowski, published by City Lights.

From the self-illustrated, unpublished work written in 1947 to hardboiled contributions to 1980s adult magazines, The Bells Tolls for No One presents the entire range of Bukowski’s talent as a short story writer, from straight-up genre stories to postmodern blurring of fact and fiction. An informative introduction by editor David Stephen Calonne provides historical context for these seemingly scandalous and chaotic tales, revealing the hidden hand of the master at the top of his form.

Born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, Charles Bukowski 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 would eventually publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose. He died of leukemia in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994.

David Stephen Calonne is the author of several books and has edited three previous collections of the uncollected work of Charles Bukowski for City Lights: Absence of the Hero, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, and More Notes of a Dirty Old Man.

David Calonne on Henry Miller

David Calonne celebrates the release of Henry Miller (Critical Lives) from Reaktion Books, describing his relationship with Miller’s work and the exhaustive critical study presented in the book.
As an author, Henry Miller (1891–1980) was infamous for his explicit descriptions of sex, and many of his novels, from The Tropic of Cancer to Black Spring, were banned in the United States on grounds of obscenity. But his books—frequently smuggled into his native country—became a major influence on the Beat Generation of American writers and would eventually lead to a groundbreaking series of obscenity trials that would change American laws on pornography in literary works. In this new critical biography, David Stephen Calonne goes beyond Miller’s notoriety to take an innovative look at the way in which the author’s writings and lifestyle were influenced by his spiritual quests.

Charting Miller’s cultivation of his esoteric ideas from boyhood and adolescence to later in his career, Calonne examines how Miller remained deeply engaged with a variety of philosophies, from astrology and Gnosticism to Eastern thinkers. Calonne describes not only the effects this had on Miller’s work, but also to his complex and volatile life—his marriages and love affairs with Beatrice Wickens, June Mansfield, and Anaïs Nin; his years in Paris; and the journey to Greece that resulted in the travelogue The Colossus of Maroussi, the book Miller considered to be Henry_Miller_1940his greatest work. After discussing Miller’s final residences in Big Sur and the Pacific Palisades in California, Calonne considers the author’s involvement in the arts, love of painting and music, and friendships with a number of classical musicians. Miller, Calonne reveals, was a quirky, charismatic man of genius who continues to influence popular culture today.

Highlighting many areas of the author’s life that have previously been neglected, Henry Miller takes a fascinating revisionary approach to the work of one of American’s most controversial and iconic writers.

David Stephen Calonne is the author of “William Saroyan: My Real Work Is Being” and “Bebop Buddhist Ecstasy: Saroyan’s Influence on Kerouac and the Beats”, and he has edited several Bukowski titles, including “More Notes of a Dirty Old Man” published by City Lights Books.