کتاب اداره پست

اثر چارلز بوکوفسکی از انتشارات قاصدک صبا - مترجم: فرح آمیلی-بهترین رمان ها

اداره‌ی پست نخستین رمان چارلز بوکوفسکی است، که در سال ۱۹۷۰ در سن ۴۹ سالگی کم‌تر از یک ماه به رشته‌ی تحریر درآورد و یک سال بعد به چاپ رسید. بوکوفسکی در سال ۱۹۵۰ در اداره‌ی پست لس‌آنجلس به عنوان نامه‌رسان مشغول به کار شد، اما سه سال بعد کارش را رها کرد و تا ۱۹۶۵ در مشاغل مختلف دست به تجربه‌اندوزی زد، او در همین سال به اداره‌ی پست بازگشت و چهار سال دیگر در آن‌جا ماند. اداره‌ی پست بر اساس خاطرات و تجربیات شخصی نویسنده به عنوان نامه‌رسان نگاشته شده و تصویری گویا از جامعه‌ی آمریکا در دهه‌ی پنجاه و شصت میلادی ارائه می‌دهد؛


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Thank you for registering to BarBud!

Ever wandered into a bar, hoping to meet a fellow to philosophize with deep into the night, only to find yourself alone with a student bartender who simply doesnt have it in him yet? Ever wanted to approach that old lonely drunk staring into his glass, so deeply lost in his thoughts that you dare not disturb him? Ever wanted to talk nonsense with a sleazy, voluptuous barfly, laugh and kiss and stroke and fuck and drink and drink and fuck and smoke and drink and sleep and drink, but found no such willing individual during your outings? Cant find someone with whom to share the drink Billy Joel called loneliness?

The times they are a-changing!

BarBud is here to help. Based on your preferences, we will find the perfect selection of bar buddies for you, right in your neighbourhood. Get yourself your favorite drink and lets get crackin.

Gender preference: Irrelevant
Motivation:
The romantic tension that comes with meeting a strange lady in a bar will potentially crowd out any other thoughts in my mind, effectively reducing my conversational skills and potential for philosophical questing, but if she doesnt mind me just paying for her drinks and hearing her out and not have any of the romantic stuff happen thats fine by me. Also, my girlfriend is watching over my shoulder as Im filling out this form. Just to make clear that sad, dirty old men are just as welcome!

Political views: No strong ones
Motivation:
I aim to find someone to get along with, not someone who bores and aggravates me all at once.

Favorite drink: Irrelevant
Motivation:
Ill drink anything, as long as its much of it!

Interests: Women, the little things, personal anecdotes
Motivation:
I like hearing about a guys romantic conquests. Even when theyre exaggerated and unbelievable, its nice to compare notes or just be happy for the guy.

By the little things I mean the stuff thats easy to hide but shouldnt be. Little physical ailments, little frustrations, little reasons to smile, little reasons to complain, the little things that fill a day and make a person.

And personal anecdotes to add color and context to the BarBud. I want to know where he works, where he sleeps, his favorite swearwords used to coat around his soft nature. I want him to complain in a way that makes me laugh. I want to see his eyes glaze over with sadness and disappointment. I want him to regale me with stories of the strange people hes met in his life, the people who made him happy, who made him sad, who brought out his kindness and generous spirit, who made him violent and who made him despair. I want to hear about his bad days at work and his good days in the bedroom. I want to get to know my BarBud, the good and the really bad. I want to be the guy who understands him, pats him on the back, reassure him hes a good bloke no matter what the people in corner of the bar are saying about him and buy him a couple of drinks.

Level happiness: Low - Medium low
Motivation:
I can see happy people on TV and Facebook all the time. Their stories mostly sound all the same. I think theres a famous book that starts with that kind of wisdom. My BarBud should be able to tell me which one, because I forget these things.

Level of education: Irrelevant
Motivation:
Well be meeting in a bar, not some fancy shmancy conference, so that @the university of [email protected] stuff should do. Only my BarBud shouldnt mention that cliché or Ill kick him in the teeth and ask him to thank me for a free lesson.

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Charles Bukowski, also known as Henry Chinaski. Do not disturb before 5pm. He used to be spotted in several bars, around the post office, at the racetrack or in his moldy appartment, but since hes dead now we recommend looking for him at the library. In fact, we highly recommend it. Be sure to bring him with you on your next visit to the bar, its where he truly shines.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
My first affair with Bukowski. I found this book while substitute teaching a group of tranquil 12th graders. I picked up the book, began reading, and couldnt believe that this book was allowed in a classroom.
Luckily the students had no interest whatsoever in the book, so I had it all to my evil self.
The book is hilarious. I read it in an afternoon. I became that crazy person in a coffee shop cackling over her book. The sentences are short and sharp. The protagonist has no regard for anything. He is a fucked up womanizer, but I still love it. The juxtaposition between his attitude and the solemnity demanded by the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE is too much. I almost died. Plus, Bukowskis use of capitalization is genius. I know hes fucked up, but I love him so.


مشاهده لینک اصلی
Not Much Pride; So Much Prejudice

When I was a child my siblings and I played a game we called Opposites. What’s the opposite of Marilyn Monroe? Peter Lorre. What’s the opposite of Vermont? The Red River Valley (takes a moment’s thought and therefore got extra points). So in that spirit: What’s the opposite of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? Obviously Charles Bukowski’s Post Office.

There is nothing in the least civilised, much less refined, in Bukowski’s protagonist, Henry Chinaski. His interests are limited to his girlfriend Betty’s ass; his sadistic supervisor, Mr. Jonstone; and lunch. The first he loses; the second he taunts regardless of consequences; the third he never gets, largely through incompetence. Hey, it’s a life.

Chinaski has clear priorities. Ambition, status, wealth are for mugs. There’s a certain monastic temperament evident in his idea that all one needs from life is enough to get that evening’s booze. Chinaski also has a decided philosophical bent: “Food is good for the nerves and the spirit. Courage comes from the belly—all else is desperation.” And despite, possibly because of, his limited horizons, Chinaski is not desperate. He takes it as it comes. Resignation to one’s circumstances can indeed be a spiritual blessing.

Happiness is a simple matter, even if it’s just beyond his reach: “By god, I thought, Im going to make it! Lunch, and back in on schedule! Life, at last, was bearable.” Most of the folk on his delivery route are tedious, but there are signal exceptions. The Temple of Nekalayla is typical Californian phenomenon, likely modelled on the Mormon Church in Los Angeles: “Nekalayla claimed he had once been walking through the desert when he met Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ told him everything. They sat on a rock together and J.C. laid it on him. Now he was passing the secrets on to those who could afford it.”

The theme of Post Office, if it has one, is the mores of the working poor, the Deplorables, the people with bad teeth and worse personal hygiene. They don’t get the short end of the stick; only other people have hold of it - usually in order to give them a whack. The way to get one’s own back is through constant needling, subtle sabotage, and having absolutely no interest in the future.

There is a certain integrity in such a stance; it requires courage, persistence and an ability to suffer. In one’s more sober moments, there is a clarity and objectivity about the state of the world one inhabits and its groundless conventions that rivals even that of... well a Jane Austen. Perhaps then the Hegelian game of childhood has hit a snag. Bukowski may be merely channeling Austen for a (very different) time and place.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Allow me to introduce you to...

HENRY CHARLES @[email protected] CHINASKI:



> Monumental asshole and perpetual slob.

> Self destructive alcoholic.

> Insincerely servile and unrepentantly sarcastic.

> Void of ambition.

> Unpleasant, crass, cynical, womanising jerk.

> Spends his time:
- propping up bars; or
- losing a small fortune at the racetrack; or
- brawling; or
- f**king;
...the latter with a claim hes an expert!

Never have I come across a character that is just so disgraceful; a sad, lousy, pathetic bastard!



The opening line of Post Office is:
@It began as a [email protected]
I hoped the mistake was not mine in deciding to read this novel!


The novels narrator is Henry (@[email protected]) Chinaski, a middle-aged alcoholic, willing to buck any system, void of ambition, yet exhibiting superior intellect and reasoning. In his youth, Hank worked in slaughterhouses, crossed the country on a railroad track gang, worked in a dog biscuit factory, slept on park benches, and worked nickel-and-dime jobs in a dozen cities. He tells his story after waking up from a terrible drinking spree.

During one christmas season, after hearing from a drunk that the Post Office would hire @damned near anybody to deliver the [email protected], Hank applies and is successful at securing a delivery job as a temp.

Oh…but hang on a minute…its not just mail that Hank is interested in delivering!
@I think it was my second day as a Christmas temp that this big woman came out and walked around with me as I delivered letters. What I mean by big was that her ass was big and her tits were big and that she was big in all the right places. She seemed a bit crazy but I kept looking at her body and I didnt care.
She talked and talked and talked. Then it came out. Her husband was an officer on an island far away and she got lonely, you know, and lived in this little house in back all by herself.
@What little [email protected] I asked.
She wrote the address on a piece of paper.
@Im lonely too,@ I said, @Ill come by and well talk [email protected]
I was shacked but the shackjob was gone half the time, off somewhere, and I was lonely all right. I was lonely for that big ass standing beside me.
@All right,@ she said, @see you [email protected]
She was a good one all right, she was a good lay but like all lays after the third or fourth night I began to lose interest and didnt go back.
But I couldnt help thinking, god, all these mailmen do is drop in their letters and get laid. This is the job for me, oh yes yes [email protected]
Are you getting the picture here, my fellow GR readers?

But while Hank is interested in the ladies, dogs are interested in Hank!
@Let me tell you about the dogs. It was one of those 100 degree days and I was running along, sweating, sick, delirious, hungover. I stopped at a small apartment house with the box downstairs along the front pavement. I popped it open with my key. There wasnt a sound. Then I felt something jamming its way into my crotch. It moved way up there. I looked around and there was a German Shepherd, full-grown, with his nose halfway up my ass. With one snap of his jaws he could rip off my balls. I decided that those people were not going to get their mail that day, and maybe never get any mail again. Man, I mean he worked that nose in there. SNUFF! SNUFF! [email protected]

Get outta there!

It wasnt just private houses where Hank delivered the mail. Businesses were also included on his run, including the local Roman Catholic Church.
@I went around to the side of the church and found a stairway going down. I went in through an open door. Do you know what I saw? A row of toilets. And showers. But it was dark. All the lights were out. How in hell can they expect a man to find a mailbox in the dark? Then I saw the light switch. I threw the thing and the lights in the church went on, inside and out. I walked into the next room and there were priests robes spread out on the table. There was a bottle of wine.
For Christs sake, I thought, who in hell but me would ever get caught in a scene like this?
I picked up the bottle of wine, had a good drag, left the letters on the robes, and walked back to the showers and toilets. I turned off the lights and took a shit in the dark and smoked a cigarette. I thought about taking a shower but I could see the headlines: MAILMAN CAUGHT DRINKING THE BLOOD OF GOD AND TAKING A SHOWER, NAKED, IN ROMAN CATHOLIC [email protected]

Thanks for your contribution, Hank!


Post Office is broken down into six distinct parts that recounts Hanks life as a succession of boring interludes over a fourteen-year period of employment in the postal service. The plot moves along on the intensity and energy of various crises involving Hank and his supervisors, coworkers, and lovers. He is a typical picaresque hero, the rogue who satirizes his authoritative supervisors. His tone is consistently cynical, he drinks excessively, and he appears to positively avoid success or happiness or comfort, preferring to subsist in penury and even misery. Hes a congenital loser trapped in a dead-end profession from which he can derive no personal satisfaction, yet possessed of enough self-awareness to recognize the absurdity of his situation.

It is widely reported that Hank is, in fact, the authors (Charles Bukowski) alter-ego and that is why the novel is written straight from the hip in unambiguous, accessible prose.


Charles Bukowski. I swear I had this image of Hank when I was reading Post Office!!!!

The novel sheds light on Bukowskis life during the period from 1952 and until he resigned from his job at the post office in 1955, before returning to his position in 1958, where he continued to work until 1969.

One never knows just where Bukowskis life ends and Hanks life begins! It is widely written that Bukowski too led a reckless life; his relationships with women and his world, which was full of gambling at horse races, booze, sex, homelessness, postal service, and crazy events, were full of black comedy at times and yet deeply tragic at others. This unfolds as Hank recounts his history of working at the post office.

The closing lines of Post Office are as brilliant as the opening and one gets a sense here that this was Bukowski speaking through Hank again, during a life-affirming moment:

@In the morning it was morning and I was still alive.

Maybe I’ll write a novel, I thought.

And then I [email protected]


It was not a mistake to read this book. Im glad I did. I went through the gamut of emotions, including laughing at the moments of levity. I recommend Post Office with caveats. If easily offended by language then think twice about reading it.

Looking at the big picture, this is an insightful and thought-provoking story about a working man trying to survive the day to day. A classic read.


مشاهده لینک اصلی
Another masterpiece of feminism in American Literature. Jay kay!

Oh, nah. The daily tale of the proletariat is fully disclosed here in such a disarming & shocking manner. The protagonist is one alcoholic, misogynistic mess! And I love him for it, & perhaps now C. Bukowski, too.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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