Thursday, December 21, 2017

Miller, Bukowski and Their Enemies: An Interview with Guillermo Joyce

I had an interesting discussion recently with author Guillermo O'Joyce, about his controversial book-- "Miller, Bukowski and their Enemies." (1996)  Joyce wrote on a blog post, "One, I am the only writer to expose the fact that a major publisher, Simon & Schuster, was out to totally discredit a major writer of indelible veracity--Henry Miller--by handing $80, 000 to a feminist to attack his reputation from every fashionable angle.  Two, I am the only writer to expose the world's largest publisher, Random House, for publishing a biography of a writer (Bukowski) whose work they had consistently rejected during his lifetime.  The object of Random House---make money and do it without the least ethical concern."

O'Joyce told me he does most of his writing at a cyber cafĂ© in Costa Rica, where he now resides. He tells me he is impoverished.  O'Joyce states:  "I type on old typewriter because most of the year I live where there is no electricity: mountains of Dominican Republic or rainforest in ...Costa Rica. . . . [in regard to new work] I have a critical piece built around new play in London in which a writer blackmails his agent but my notion is that we are really dealing with massive breakdowns in language." 

 Guillermo O'Joyce has published 11 books of poetry, fiction, and essays through small presses. They are all out of print. One of those - Miller, Bukowski & Their Enemies, essays - is supposed to be reprinted by Pinter & Martin, London.

I asked him about the genesis of his book... and his thoughts about Miller and Bukowski.


"The Miller, Bukowski and Stettner essays were originally published in City Paper, Wash, D.C in 1991, 10,000 free copies on street corners in D.C. so maybe 2,000 read the piece but 40 people xeroxed the Miller essay and mailed it to NYC.  26 years later the CEO of a corporation in NYC, under the label of "anonymous donor", through a 3rd party, put $2,000. in my bank account and called the Miller essay "the finest essay ever written."  He may be right because the essay explores the complete process of Hatred and how large money concerns are able to organize hatred and direct it toward a target (Miller).

But at the time, 1991, I heard from no one except the City Paper editor, Jack Shafer (now media critic for who wandered into my backyard, carrying a 6-pack and said, "All my friends have advised me to sever my ties with you." My reply, "Maybe you need some new friends."  Henry Miller, in discussing his students at a French boarding school,explains who Shafer's friends are: "They belonged to a category of colorless individuals who make up the world of engineers, pharmacists, dentists, architects, teachers, etc. etc.  They were no different than the clods whom they would later wipe their boots on.  They were zeroes in every sense of the word, ciphers who form the nucleus of a  respectable and lamentable society." 

Shafer went on to publish my essays but the silence continued.  Now as I think about it, it is truely baffling.  Bukowski had a few thousand followers as did Miller so why didn't I hear from them?  And it raises the question:  How deep does fear go among the liberal, intellectual crowd???  In 1968 I was fired from my first teaching job because I said I liked Celine.  In 1975 The University of Utah  banned its literary magazine Western Humanities Review be cause of my poem; they tried to fire the editor on grounds of "moral turpitude."  Did anybody squawk???  It goes on and on.  I don't want to bore you,  It comes full circle to Celine who says, "Perhaps by traveling to the end of the night I will find out what makes everyone so afraid."

If you're daring at all with the written word, you end up in a nightmare.  You end up on poverty row.

No comments:

Post a Comment