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By Charles Bukowski

Living on Luck is a set of letters from the Nineteen Sixties jumbled together with poems and drawings. The ever smart Charles Bukowski fills the pages along with his tough external and juicy heart.

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Extra resources for Charles Bukowski, Living On Luck: Selected Letters 1960s-1970s, Volume 2

Sample text

In a letter to Naukratios, Theodore of Stoudios complains that his friend had not told him whether he thought that writing iambs against the iconoclasts is a good idea; and in another letter, to his brother Joseph, Theodore writes that he much regrets that Joseph’s iambic pamphlet against the iconoclast heresy got lost in the mail63. In the Refutation of the Sacrilegious Poems, Theodore inveighs against the iconoclastic iambs on the Chalke and proves that they are totally inappropriate64. In poem no.

Words like d0ron or c1riß can be found in many Byzantine poems. The poet presents his poem as a gift to his patron, whom he asks to kindly accept his offer (d6coy or the like: see, for instance, Pisides’ words quoted above: d6coy t2 mikr1). There can be but little doubt that poets desire something in return for their generous gifts and that these requests to accept a gift involve more than simply showing gratitude for services rendered. In the prologue to the Ekphrasis, Constantine the Rhodian ends by saying that Constantine VII “is an emperor completely sympathetic to, and stepping into the breach for, those who labour hard”.

As Geometres owned a luxurious mansion in the centre of the city and never refers to any financial problems (in his poems he complains about almost everything, but not about poverty), he must have been rather well-off. He may have inherited some of his possessions from his father, a “loyal servant of the emperor”, but the rest of his opulence will have accrued throughout his years of active service in the military48. Thus I would suggest that Geometres did not directly depend upon financial gifts from the emperor, but that he was remunerated for his priceless literary services with a comfortable position in the Byzantine army.

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