“They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they?” That’s Bukowski in a letter to John Martin, his publisher. Martin had encouraged Bukowski to quit his post office job to write fulltime; Bukowski was able to do it, but only because of a promised stipend from Martin. He was 49 when he quit working. He wrote this letter at 64, reflecting on the “jolly joy of the miracle” of getting out.
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