Bukowski/Carver - Dirty Realism Duo (1 Viewer)

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I like both Carver & Bukowski, but "dirty realism"? Deconstructing texts? Yawn. I wouldn't buy this at a steep discount.
 
Actually, I have that book as I was considering reading and reviewing it as a follow-up to my November Bukowski column ... but it's not worth the effort, although the idea of a "compare and contrast" analysis between selected works of Carver and Bukowski still intrigues me. One could write an entire comparative essay, for instance, between "The Fiend" and Carver's "So Much Water So Close To Home" (that's the story where the fishing buddies come upon a nude dead girl in the Williamette River and decide to continue fishing anyway).
 

mjp

Founding member
For some reason, I'm not planning on picking this up. It is something about critical reviews that seem to go over my head...
MICHAEL HEMMINGSON has written over 25 books of literary, western, SF, horror, noir, autobiography, erotica, narrative journalism, gonzo journalism, cultural anthropology, critical theory, critifiction, and ethnography.

Wow, a regular Renaissance man!
 

vodka

Miss Take
I think it's a very interesting idea for a book. I always jump into literary criticism thinking 'Oh this is going to be interesting!' and then I find myself nodding off while I'm reading it, though.

I always think when I'm reading litcrit, man, it's a whole lot of assumption for people who were well - just writing. I've seen it done to my own work sometimes -- oh I love how you did this or this for this effect and I love how this is an extended metaphor for such and such. And I always nod and smile and agree, yes I am brilliant.

Didn't Bukowski have a poem that addressed that? I think he did, maybe more than one. The problem with me is that I can always remember bits and pieces of poems but can never remember the entire thing or title until I read it again.
 
After suffering through more than my fair share of stuffy, difficult to read lit crit essays and collections I learned one valuable lesson for crafting my peices for Pop Matters: Keep it entertaining. The book in question that Bill posted about is far from entertaining.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
I always think when I'm reading litcrit, man, it's a whole lot of assumption for people who were well - just writing. I've seen it done to my own work sometimes -- oh I love how you did this or this for this effect and I love how this is an extended metaphor for such and such. And I always nod and smile and agree, yes I am brilliant.

Didn't Bukowski have a poem that addressed that? I think he did, maybe more than one. The problem with me is that I can always remember bits and pieces of poems but can never remember the entire thing or title until I read it again.


If Bukowski wrote it? hank solo will know it.
Hang on while he gets to this message.

hank solo is the only living Bukowski concordance I know.
He's rilly good.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Okay.

There's probably a few, but I think 'upon reading a critical review' from Bone Palace Ballet is pretty much what vodka was talking about.

you are given credit you don't
deserve, for insights that aren't
there.

people read themselves into books, altering
what they need and discarding what they
don't.

good critics are as rare as good
writers.
and whether I get a good review or a
bad one
I can take neither
seriously.
 
That seems to represent the view of many of the authors I interviewed this year (Marissa Silver, Willy Vlautin, Rudy Wurlitzer, Graham Vickers, etc.) Interesting.
 

vodka

Miss Take
yah, hank solo i think that's what i was talking about. i think there were a couple more also. maybe i will get my lazy bad vampire book reading ass into my room and dig a couple of the volumes up and find it for myself. imagine that?

i'd be curious to know what bukowski.net readers think in regard to this contrast of Carver/Bukowski. sometimes i think people look for the easy go to. sure, both were minimalists, both were honest, but i don't think they were necessarily employing the same techniques or writing about the same things.
 

justine

stop the penistry
I always jump into literary criticism thinking 'Oh this is going to be interesting!' and then I find myself nodding off while I'm reading it, though.

agreed. read way too much boring lit crit at uni. but the occasional book/chapter/article would really get through. i wish i could remember the author now, but i read a really great book on kerouac's 'on the road'. i was having to read it for a class, and really wasn't 'getting it'. this book gave it a context i wasn't aware of, and i enjoyed kerouac much more after that (still not a huge fan, though).

as for the bukowski/carver comparisons: i don't know if i've read enough bukowski to make any concrete analysis, but i've read a lot carver and i don't see a whole lot of similarity. both were alcoholics, both led rough sort of lives, both wrote about 'real life'. but to me their styles are vastly different. bukowski is much more eloquent and graceful with his use of language, more conversational, while carver is very stark and spare (try reading one of his stories out loud). carver's humour is much more oblique, much darker. i feel like i have to work a bit harder when i read carver, that i'm rewarded by multiple readings, but bukowski is much easier to 'get' - i think he's extremely accessible, more so than carver. i don't think that necessarily makes bukowski a better writer, just different.
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Never heard of "dirty realism" until this thread. I should read more. A check on "the google" finds the term comes from Granta's Bill Buford. I read his book on football (soccer) hooligans, Among the Thugs, years ago.
 
Hmmm some guys who are fishing come across the body of a dead girl but decide to go on fishing instead. I think that was used in the Robert Altman movie,"Short Cuts".
 
"Short Cuts" is a compelling film, a fascinating tapestry of several Carver narratives in the language of film, but every time I see the movie I feel the same way at the end of the three-hour journey: "Why? Why make a film with such an unforgiving, bleak view of humanity?" It's almost an insult to Carver's legacy, a writer who saw such quiet grace in the every day struggles of common men and women.
 

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