Bukowski and work (1 Viewer)

mjp

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Harrison also argues that Bukowski broke with tradition by rejecting the entire idea of "work" as being something useful or necessary. What's refreshing to me is that Bukowski doesn't moralize the issue. The working man is not a hero. Most of the time he's an asshole like everyone else. Recognizing that is an achievement, I think.
It would be more of an achievement if it weren't the way Bukowski thought about everything. He also rejects the ideas of love, morals, heroism, and compassion.
 
There's several different Bukowskis: There's the writer and the character in his stories, and for each of those, there's the mask (the way he presents himself), the way he thinks he really is, and the way he really is.

The mask of the character in the stories has no compassion for the women he screws unless they're exceptionally pretty, and pretends not to have compassion for men (when his editor threatens suicide, Bukowski says only that would make it hard to get his stories published). He ridicules soldiers for being suckers. The writer shows a world without compassion, and there may be co-dependency but there's no love. People use each other and that's all there is. If Bukowski has morals, what are they?

The puzzling thing is that if Bukowski the writer really rejected love and compassion, then how could he write stories that moved me?

So which Bukowski do you think doesn't reject those things, and why do you think it?
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
There's several different Bukowskis: There's the writer and the character in his stories, and for each of those, there's the mask (the way he presents himself), the way he thinks he really is, and the way he really is...]

Hi there Bad Horse
Yes he could be sexist and comes across hostile (and a bit strutting and preening: the novel Women) but a lot of it was tongue in cheek. Yes he does portray some women as predatory and selfish, that’s because they do exist, equally he describes women who are independent and strong willed.

Nor do I get from his writing that he thought a woman’s place was in the home. He actively supported female writers, he offered to marry Frances Smith when she was pregnant, accepted her refusal, but acted as a responsible " co-parent ".
I’ll argue that he did love and admire women ( not just as sex objects).

I’ll take his crude honesty, over mealy mouthed closet misogynists any day of the week.

As for the rest of humanity; he wrote, how we all feel about it at times; so there is disillusion, despair and cynicism, but there is also pain, love and compassion, read more of his poetry and you will discover this.

Far more concerning to me is the prevailing misogyny displayed in contemporary music and culture, where women and young girls are being objectified. Bukowski is the least of it.
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
roni ... it was an ok question and you've got to give people a chance, haven't you? open their views up a little.
ps... I was a dab hand at doing punishment lines at school... that one is a breeze:)
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
Nein roni, nein! no more homework! but if I did happen to glance at them - in the passing -
I'd still say the second post was more genuine and worth answering, I think.
 

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