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Charles Bukowski Charles Bukowski
by The Ovi Team
2017-08-16 09:09:52
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bukofski01_400August 16th 1920. Charles Bukowski, leader of the “Meat School” of tough, masculine poetry, is born on this day in Andernach, Germany. Bukowski’s writing is filled with images of sex, violence, and heavy drinking.

Bukowski’s family moved to the U.S. when he was a child. The family settled in Los Angeles, where Bukowski set much of his work. Bukowski’s father was a brutal man who allegedly beat his son frequently. As a child, Bukowski was plagued with boils that scarred his face early in life. He started drinking in his early teens and never stopped. He began studying journalism and English at Los Angeles City College in 1939, but dropped out and went to the East Coast, where he worked on his fiction. A steady stream of magazine rejections led him to give up writing for 10 years.

He took it back up in 1955, when a bleeding ulcer landed him in a Los Angeles hospital, giving him time to reflect on his life. His poetry met with much better success than his fiction, and by 1959 he published his first book, Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail. John Martin of Black Sparrow Press offered Bukowski $100 a month to quit his menial part-time jobs, which included washing dishes, driving a truck, and sorting mail for the U.S. Postal Service. Bukowski turned his experiences with mail sorting into his first novel, Post Office (1971).

Bukowski continued to embrace a rough, blunt style in his work. He became a very popular underground poet in Los Angeles and developed a loyal European following. He published more than 1,000 poems, 32 books of poetry, 5 short stories, and 6 novels. He also wrote an autobiographical screenplay, Barfly (1987), made into an award-winning movie in which Mickey Rourke plays a hard-drinking, macho writer surrounded by L.A. lowlifes. Bukowski died of leukemia in Los Angeles in 1994.

 


    
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Emanuel Paparella2015-08-16 09:43:27
I suppose Bukowski's writing was based on his experiences and as such can be dubbed "confessional," nevertheless it is not in the tradition of St. Augustine's Confessions. In the latter there is much more than mere description, there is also interpretation and examination and wisdom and as such it was much closer than Bukowski's writing to the Socratic maxim that the unexamined life is not worth living. To confess is to examine, reflect and turn around before embarking on a journey of self-discovery. Augustine and Dante are both exemplary in that regard. They did not confess to become famous writers; that was a mere by-product.


Nikos Laios 2017-08-16 09:40:09
Charles Bukowski,

Father of te 'dirty realism' genre of poetry based on the on the existential struggles and angst of the common man in an urban environment.

Invariably written in a first person confessional voice, clean prose, stripped back, in the common vernacular of his protagonists.

Through his portrayal of the struggles of the common man, Bukowski sings of beautify stark and truthful Socratic phylosoohy..

The beauty in his poetry lies in the raw human condition, the clean prose, and his honesty....

...besides the poetry of Eliot, Lawrence, Cavafy and Ginsberg, Bukowskis works are a must add to your list.


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