Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by The Bard of Wigan, Jun 8, 2011.
. . . the greatest ever German born American poet ever ?
well certainly the greatest american bar poet
I prefer his proses but only in small doses, I think he's a good writer who promotes self destruction as positive life choose, but you have to wonder why he survived till 1994 given that he supposedly lived the lifestyle he wrote about. So I have my doubts as to if he actually really was a full-time derelict and bar fly.
The thing about his writing is that for a middle class reader its just a freak show in words. Most people read it to get salacious pleasure out of the unwashed lowlifes. Some even envy the lack of responsibility, but its not desirable, its not pleasurable, it might be funny in recollection at times when you write about it. But its a living hell for those stuck in grinding poverty and substance abuse.
Still his writing has its charms, I liked:
Tales of Ordinary Madness.
Notes of a Dirty Old Man
Most Beautiful Woman in Town
And the only Poetic collections I've read by him are:
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
Crucifix in a Deathhand
Also saying that he is the best German born American poet ever is a trick question! How many are there that fit that description?
It's like saying that Sammy Davis Jr was the the best African American, One Eyed, Jewish performer in America.
Eh? You sure? Everything I've read of Bukowski has characters (much like himself perhaps) who are arrogant as a defense mechanism, seeming to take pride and comfort in their self-destruction, but what makes Bukowski great is the subtle touches of humanity, regret, longing, etc that make up his work. It's far from sensationalized or glorified self-destruction, much less promoting it as a positive life choice, if one is paying attention.
Though, I've talked to a few, usually younger readers who just think Bukowski is all about booze and broads because they refuse (or are unable) to read deeper. That's not on Bukowski, though.
Not sure if serious.
Do you think Keith Richards is also just putting on an act and has never done drugs or drank in his life?
Nevermind, though, there are plenty of documentaries, etc.
The thing I respect about Bukowski is he worked his ass off. Amateur writers flock to Buk thinking if they just get drunk and ramble about it they too will be great, not realizing he was more intelligent, better read and worked harder.
I think Lisel Mueller is much better.
That's the point, I like reading Burkowski but when I actually think about the situations he's writing about. I think "How awful", because in my sordid past I too have experienced similar things and remember how I felt at the time.
Of course not, but Bukowski implies that he'd rather live in a Los Angeles dive and go on week long drunks then live comfortably as I'm sure his writing success allowed him to do.
There is no doubt that he's done a lot of drugs and booze in his time , you only have to look at his face. But I think he over exaggerates how much in his writing. I don't know for sure maybe I'm wrong.
There are people who write and there are writers, people who write do so because they want to tell their stories.
Writers write because the have to tell their stories, I think Bukowski was the one of the 2nd types.
You might not like his subject matter or question his philosophical beliefs but there's no doubting he could write.
Became a Bukowski fan from the moment my eyes read 'Bluebird' and 'The laughing heart'.
Never looked back since.
I love his writing. I think when you look past his subject matter (like it or not) there's a great emotional honesty and absence of ego that I haven't found in many other places. I like the comments above about how he was more intelligent and harder working than the average barfly who tries to be a writer. It was his reality and he wore it like a shield rather than trying to glamorize it, mope about it, or become entirely and negatively consumed by it. I've always thought that if you can't take anything away from Bukowski, then you don't know what it is to be lonely. I don't try to write like him and I have nothing in common with him, but I think most people can completely relate to him on some level.
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