"BP: There’s an interesting question that I think a lot of people are gonna ask, especially when this book is reprinted. The question is what happened to John Fante after Ask the Dust came out.
JF: Well, he pissed away a few years of his life playing golf, reading, dallying with another novel and then another novel. And sometimes selling a short story. His life was pretty much fragmented. And then he – at about the time that World War II broke out, he was working for Orson Welles, writing a picture for Orson, with Norman Foster, they were collaborating together. And Orson bought a story from John. And this was scheduled to be filmed immediately that particular Sunday, this was about 1940. And Orson Welles went to Brazil to film another segment of the picture. He was doing a picture called It’s All True, they were four short stories he was going to film, and on this particular night in Brazil when he just arrived, he was standing on the balcony watching some great festivity that goes on in Brazil once a year, like at a carnival, and he stood at the edge of the balcony and peed on the people down below. And he was arrested, thrown in the clink, and ordered out of the country. And that was the end of that particular project."
"BP: Ferlinghetti publishes City Lights and he is Bukowski’s publisher. I asked Bukowski after I read Ask the Dust, I said Look, will you do an introduction to this, because his name is very hot now and as I said, it would get it immediately into France and Germany. He said, I would love to do an introduction.
BP: So then I talked to Ferlinghetti on the phone and he gave me the same thing I had given Bukowski several years ago, you know that if he’d never heard of your name, it was impossible. But I know if I send him the book, first because he’s an Italian and second because he knows good literature, it’s going to knock him off his chair when he reads it. And that’s just the beginning. I mean, there are all kinds of other backup things we can do. With Bukowski’s name and a book like that –