Bukowski/Hemingway (1 Viewer)

Hey guys I have been a frequent spectator for some time now, and I just wanted to ask a question., I've been hearing lately that Bukowski imitated and copied Hemingway. I know Bukowski was a fan and praised Hemingway in some of his short stories, but do any of these umm accusations hold any truth? I have been reading Bukowski for about 2 years, and have read some of Hemingway's work and I find no real evident relation. I want to hear what you guys think about this. Thanks.
 
Who can say for sure . . .. but I get the heavy impression that Bukowski read him a great, great deal"”maybe when young . . . both the early and later stories"”knew that H. had a big reputation among writers, and had mixed feelings of secret admiration and disappointment.

Both had tough guy images and worked on achieving something new in literature: more of a stripped down language based upon life as they had experienced it with booze, broads and violence"”a sense of living on the edge and wanting to be where the action was even if they had to create the drama themselves. Both acted as if they were bigger than life, and were viewed that way by many of their readers.

Bukowski wrote a story (someone else can mention the title) taking on Hemingway in the boxing ring, and guess who was the victor? Unless I missed it, I don't recall B. climbing into the ring with any other tough guy writer, and that shows some kind of respect.

My sense of it is that B was more competitive with Hemingway's reputation than any other writer he came across, though B. read them all and mentioned their short-comings in various stories and poems"”such writers as Saroyan, Faulkner and Tolstoy. On the other hand, Dostoevsky, Thurber and John Fante he appeared to have nothing but praise for. (But I never felt that he was competitive with Dos.)

My sense of it is that, ultimately, Bukowski felt that Hemingway had only so many good lines in him and then became boring.

B. also made a statement that Hemingway was studying Death, and B. was studying Life.

But B. undoubtedly read a lot of him, was impressed on some level"”understading what Hemingway was thoroughly about"”and yet felt that he had surpassed him in bringing pleasure, joy and humor into the written line without imitating him, other than in bringing in some of the same dramatic, raw human situations such as fisticuffs, brutality, warring (personal or political) and the manly arts.

Perhaps it is on that level of unapologetic "maleness" that they were on equal footing though coming from entirely different backgrounds and without B. consciously imitating him or anyone. He had a bigger Muse, in my opinion, than Hemingway or H. would never have burned out as a writer at the age of 60 and blown his brains to the ceiling with a shotgun and a final flash of style.

One reader's opinion.

Poptop
 
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HenryChinaski

Founding member
Bukowski claimed that old Earnie was just too serious in his writing. Although he gave him much praise, he said steer clear of him if you were looking to laugh while reading.
 
Ive read Hems "Island in the Stream" recently and there is a lot of subtle black humor in it.

I really liked the part where his girlfriend asks the main character:"When do you think the war will be over?"
- "Ask the owner."

Hems writing though tends to be much tighter than hanks,almost like cramped...but nevertheless the readingFlow ,the simpleness of the line is marvelous.
I guess the main difference is that hem believed in the vague,small possibility that humanity could be better,buk didnt.
 

reasonknot

Founding member
its easy to want to get all the answers here people.
but most of this cant be answered till next year.
after more homework.
 
Truth is Stranger Than Fiction Dept.

Mary Hemingway.jpg

This is a silver photograph of Mary Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's widow, standing in a field, wearing a plaid shirt, with a shotgun resting on her shoulder. Like her famous author husband, Mary was to commit suicide with a shotgun.
 

zoom man

Founding member
Happy 10-31 and all,
But Jesus, If you wanted to kill yourself,
Well, I couldn't ever use a shot gun.

Thanks for the pic poptop....
Guess I'm replying b/c I just (yesterday?) heard that Kurrt Cobain surpassed Elvis this year in earnings and I was upset, remembering where I was (Hawaii) when he blew his head off and this kind of brought it all up again.
I love Kurt and Papa..
But to get back to the thread, I kind of disagree with all thats been said so far,..... oh well, ha, sorry... Trick or treat, I guess.
Off to find a masked party
Toast
 

zoom man

Founding member
Ok, found the party
(no Warhol NYC gathering but hey?!)
And it doesn't start till a bit....
So really, should I start a new thread->
How would you do it (kill yourself)?
I mean shot gun?, head in the oven?
(Yes, I dig (dug) Sylvia Plath).

And how would Buk have done it?,
Or did he (booze)?
Me-> Heroin OD.

Ok, next, and sorry,
But it's been a while :>
 
A feast for no season . . .

A few Hemingway quotes on Writing:

"Eschew the monumental. . . Shun the Epic. All the guys who can paint great big pictures can paint great small ones."

When "stuck" he would say to himself "Do no worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know . . . If I start to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written."

When asked "How much should you write a day?", he said, "The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never get stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it."

In a letter to Charles Scribner: "Charlie there is no future in anything. I hope you agree. That is why I like it at a war. Every day and every night there is a strong possibility that you will get killed and not have to write. I have to write to be happy . . . . But it is a hell of a disease to be born with. I like to do it. Which is even worse. That makes it from a disease into a vice. Then I want to do it better than anybody has ever done it which makes it into an obsession."

"...it has never gotten any easier to do and you can't expect it to if you keep trying for something better than you can do."

"I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket."
 
Happy 10-31 and all,
But Jesus, If you wanted to kill yourself,
Well, I couldn't ever use a shot gun.
The thing about a gun is that it's over quickly, unless you have bad aim and you aim to shoot your neighbor instead... It's just too bad Hemingway got burned out, as I feel he did, and never could find the *joy* of writing again instead of all that f-ing labor. They both worked completely different, and it appeared to me there was nothing more joyful to the B than to write, even when he was writing about his own loneliness or the infinite stupidities of life. But H, he became more separate from life, as if his best days were behind him during the thrill of his youth. I got the feeling that H loathed getting old and wasn't willing to watch himself fall apart physically to the end. (And I can respect that, because I''ve had the same thought myself, as will most of you when your body starts giving out.)

It's a shame about Kurt. As for Elvis, he appeared to be trapped in his fans' image of him, and never found a way out except through food and prescription drugs.

So now, Zoom, say what you think, or it gets boring around here. I write mostly to kill time, ha, before time kills me.

Best wishes, Poptop
 
G

grayxray

Hemingway

With Hemingway the words came naturally, then they stopped and he blew his head off.
 

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