Any thoughts on the theme of insanity / madness in Bukowski's work? It's a big theme. Almost as big as the role of work.
It IS a big theme, even figuring in at least one (obvious) title. For me, the resonance is the whole idea that everyone who allows him/her self to mindlessly march the treadmill of lemming-like life - is insane. And for those who prefer NOT to do so, they wind up GOING insane because of everyone around them. That's the feeling I've gotten from so much of Bukowski's work.Any thoughts on the theme of insanity / madness in Bukowski's work? It's a big theme. Almost as big as the role of work.
I, too, loved his use of "sub-normal." It kind of reminds me in a way, of that other fellow who created the whole "Bob Dobbs" thing - I think it was called "Church of the Sub-Genius."I have always loved how he referred to people, dogs, and other living things as "Sub-normal." It makes me feel better that my dog and girlfriend are sub-normal. Is it an old school term for "retarded"?
DS Calonne Sunlight Here I Am Pg 258, Bukowski Reflects: The Street Smart Sage[... and those whose madness took them in interesting directions, like great artists. ("Those mad dogs of glory...")
It might also be worth noting that when he first left home and headed for the "cheap rooms" on Temple street, his mother paid for them.That he sought solace and security in his cheap rooms, for me is a continuance of the only comfort he found at home - his room, especially after a beating.
It always feels to me like, although there is all this crazy stuff going on, that the most purposeful (and in someways content) times in Bukowski's stories are the most memorable. They also seem to be the most valuable. As compared to the average human wallowing in their own filth of mediocrity and lack of purpose.Any thoughts on the theme of insanity / madness in Bukowski's work? It's a big theme. Almost as big as the role of work.
That's an interesting point. He does seem to at least feel sorry for the dronish people. At least he sort of relates to the fact they don't see a lot in life to get excited about.But I do think sub-normals were a different animal. Those were just the clueless who couldn't be helped -- and I do think they had a special place in his heart. Insanity is another animal all together. It can be good, bad, or just plain good writing material.