Bukowski and his reader's drinking habits (1 Viewer)

First off, i'm not at all saying that Buk is just a down and out drunk and that's why people read, but i've found a lot of his readers found his work because they could relate to the drinking (including myself)

So, how many of you guys found Hank's work during a particularly decadent time in their life? Me personally i had been crawling around London for a few years and was made aware of the man's work during a fairly severe hangover by a lady friend (cunt).
I too enjoy the drink but strangely enough came across Buk during an especially dry period in my life. There was so much to relate to in his work beyond the drinking, though I am sure the bottle didn't hurt, haha.
That's why i asked, i focused too much on alcohol for quite awhile reading Buk because that's how i found him. Probably the same reason i liked reading Lemmy stories, they made me feel like a lightweight!
Yeah, read enough about the drinking and you begin to feel that what you thought was drinking is really just sipping like those blood of Christ biddies at church.
About 6 or 7 years ago I pulled my head out of my ass and started trying to understand 'the world'. The more I understood, the more I realized I had been force-fed literature that didn't ring true to my own experience of life. I found Bukowski by looking for literature that specifically included drinking. Really, what I was looking for (and found) was literature that dealt with real things, people, habits etc.

I don't think I was drinking very much when I began reading Bukowski. But I also recall drinking every day in this period, so I'm not really sure...
Well put 5:28, looking for something real - the people and their habits and the conversations and how everything rang so true is what got me hooked, along with the drinking.
That's impressive ES09, when I'm hungover and trying to get human again reading is the furthest thing from my mind. Just slimming around in the dark like an earthworm really, haha.
I think it was the combo of drinking/working a crappy job/having little sense of purpose that did it for me.

I had been a daily drinker for around 2 years before I read Buk but in some ways reading him pushed me further and made me stop questioning my habits for a while. I think in a way he has been a bad influence, but in another way his writing opened me up to a whole new literary style and made me realize the everyday and the mundane could be written about.

It seems so stupid now but before I read Buk I thought novels had to be about big events or cultural movements or dramas. A guy going to work, getting drunk everyday, and nailing some random chicks here and there ?
Well that's just boring ...
But it's real!
Since reading that I was able to make my own aesthetic choices about what I liked and disliked ecause I'd finally found a style I could say with confidence I liked with reasons why.

Before that the academic world and the elitist hipster book world made me feel dumb if I wasn't into Magic realism or whatever. I felt dumb because in those days I just didn't know what I liked.

Now I do

I don't drink now and I struggle to read Buk sober because he glorifies and conveys the feeling of alcoholic ecstasy better than anyone. It's torture to read him while craving a drink.
That's impressive ES09, when I'm hungover and trying to get human again reading is the furthest thing from my mind. Just slimming around in the dark like an earthworm really, haha.

Haha same i can never read hungover, usually it's a ton of milk then and a coffee with Jameson or two to feel human.
Haha same i can never read hungover, usually it's a ton of milk then and a coffee with Jameson or two to feel human.

It's the humor that comforts me. I find a lot of humor in Buk's writing. It's like a warm blanket sometimes. Haven't you ever been so out of it you need to stay in bed for a couple days just to recharge?
Milk is the worst thing you can consume freshly hungover.
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Although I knew about him, it is true I first started reading Bukowski while swamping at a bar in Milwaukee, where Bukowski would be considered a relative lightweight in the drinking department, for better or worse.
I haven't really thought about how MY life was going when I found Buk. It was a relatively normal time in my life. I had just broken up with a crazy girl and I was hating my job. I was probably drinking an average amount. Once or twice a week. I consider that average, or "healthy".
I spent five years binge drinking moved to a new town and didn't have anyone to drink with so i become introverted and read books instead. the first book i read was by buk which was perfect as it related to my previous lifestyle in some ways and it went on from there. Did it further encourage my drinking? i guess it validated it.
I am an alcoholic who has been sober for 2 years. I originally got into Bukowski around 6 years back because I related so much to him. It was basically my life at that time. I was living in a horrible flat and drinking every day with relationship problems and I picked up Women and it was like reading my life story. I do feel like he glorified drinking quite a lot now though.
I dont see how one can enjoy Bukowski unless it is coming from a drinking background yourself. I drank a lot in the past and probably will continue to do so. I like Bukowski both sober and drunk. I, like many here, enjoy the way his writing seems to depict real people and real lives more so than most writing. I also enjoy Henry Miller and have most of his books. Sometimes I confuse the two when I am reading. Cant really read when drunk so I read all of this stuff sober from a perceptive of having been drunk. Many art forms glorify many things. Film and writing as well as music. Video games do now, in the modern times. Sometimes I am not sure how I am to act in order to be a "real person."
I like Bukowski, but I don't have a drinking background. I hardly drink, believe it or not I only had my first beer a couple of years ago (I'm in my late 30's). These days I'll have a few bottles a couple of times a year, my birthday or if just want to switch off and watch a movie with a giant bag of crisps (chips). Alcohol was a big part of Bukowski's life and it appears in much of his work, but it's not the be all and end all, that would be boring. As someone else said, it's the humour that I like, as well as the insights into life and all that, although the drunkeness and hangovers kind of enrich the whole thing. I just like the writing, there is a lot there I can relate to apart from the booze.
I wouldn't be able stand being drunk every day, I think it would be a nightmare. When Bukowski said (to paraphrase) "anyone can be sober, to be a drunk takes endurance", I can well imagine! I don't even get drunk, a few bottles (of good quality German or Czech stuff) is enough for me when the mood strikes. Once I've got a good buzz going, I'll leave it at that. Alcohol just isn't my thing. Or drugs, apart from caffeine, not too much though.
I was always a big drinker...I really thought I had a problem and felt guilty and shame in a way about it

but after reading Bukowski and others I got into the romanticizing of it...for a while

But the key thing was just the embrace of life in all forms. The weird dignity to low life behaviour. The humanity on the underbelly of society...all that stuff, the drinking just added to it and was a cool way to bookend the stories.

I felt like a total loser at the time I first read post office and reading Bukwoski just comforted me like a blanket or something. I didn't feel so alone reading those words, and that impact cannot be understated. So much of the stuff I read before felt so tricksy in a way, but this just felt like a communion of minds. And it was funny and sad at the same time.

Unfortunately, Bukowski did become a bad influence because I started wrong mindedly getting into the whole 'fuck the world let's crack open another bottle of wine' mentality which didn't do anything for my life but give me headaches and make me fat. I wasn't writing or doing anything productive. I was just a total slob.

So I cut that out. But I still like Bukowski - I think he wants humans to be better than they are, yet is also unable to be so himself. There's such a contradiction to it in a way....like all outsider art...I want to be admired and better than others...yet I hate people...and I also need validation from women...but I don't need women....

There's a nobility to these things struggles and conflicts - I don't thing it ever ends - but the struggle...towards what's right....even though it isn't actually there. It's kind of fascinating, and arguably Bukowski did come as close to being 'authentic' as you can really get - even if a large part of it was fabricated performance art.
It's kind of fascinating, and arguably Bukowski did come as close to being 'authentic' as you can really get - even if a large part of it was fabricated performance art.

"There is truth, and there are lies, and art always tells the truth. Even when it's lying."
-John Horatio Malkovich
I wasn't writing or doing anything productive. I was just a total slob.
Being a slob and not doing anything "productive" isn't that bad. Take a look at productive people. We are surrounded by them. They are sickening.
I've always been prone to think that people, who can't adjust to what the majority calls 'normal', must be sane, or at least still alive.
This is a good point, but it also depends what's being "produced"... working your tits off for little reward whilst someone you've never met reaps the benefits, not good. Being productive for oneself, self improvement, independence, etc etc. good. Unfortunately most of us have to do the slavery slog. To hate it, at least that's something, at least that shows a level of awareness at how crazy the whole thing is, but some people are happy with it! Modern society is as far from normal as you can get, it's staggeringly fucked up. But ignorance is bliss. The world is full of happy consumers.
You're right, 'Faramir', the world is full of happy consumers but only when they're consuming. The high begins to take form the closer one gets to the purchase, after that comes the debt and worry. When people are not consuming they turn cancerous and develop cannibalistic tendencies. :cool:
...found Buk late in life this year. Always knew of him and people told me forever I should read him. In January, I just started reading everything chronologically (about 35 books in now). I have always been a drinker. I do feel better abut it now with Buk on my side. I did make the switch from whiskey to gin in this time. Does that mean anything?
Found buk from a friend who has a vast collection, I had a lot of spare time on my hands, and felt down and out working a menial labor job, so he spoke to me, as a commoner. I received it well, I however, am not a big drinker, but put any other drug in front of me... haha.
I already mentioned in my introduction post that I first heard about Bukowski from a dancer I knew in high school, though I didn't read him until 4 years ago. I had a drinking buddy who let me borrow Post Office the morning after some drunk night. Before then, my brother would share some of his poetry with me, but I didn't make an attempt to read anything by him until later. Drinking probably played a big part in making me want to check his books out. I haven't gotten tired of his writing since.

Drinking plays a big part in why I like Bukowski, though I also like his realism and lyricism, probably those two more than the drinking.
I read one of the letter collections that, if I recall correctly, tracked the period from the late 60's when he was in his last years at the post office, writing his column, and preparing to quit his job. I've also read about half of the correspondence with Sheri Martinelli. in both collections his writing style reminds me more of his poetry than the Chinaski character. It gives a dimension to the man you wouldn't get without the letters... compare those early letters with a later book like Shakespeare Never Did This. They're two different people part of the same man, I think.
I didn't realize just how much of a drunk Buk was until I saw the documentary "Born Into This"...
I mean I knew he appreciated drinking from his writing's like "Barfly" for example.\
As far as my own drinking, its been on and off since I was a teenager. I was more of a pot smoker/psychedelic
drugs user...
Now I have designated "drinking days" as oppose to drinking everyday.

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