Descriptions of Buk (1 Viewer)

As a bit of fun, inspired by my ongoing research, and the piece quoted elsewhere from Esquire, I thought I'd start a thread documenting the various descriptions of Buk to be found in critiques, reviews, bios, etc.

Okay first cab off the rank must be the cliched:

Poet laureate of skid row


Hard-bitten bard of the Los Angeles demimonde
American literature's dirty old man
Poet of douchebags
The Bard of Booze, Broads and Horses
(or something like that--it's Lawrence Ferlinghetti's line and I'll check when I get home...)
"America's sewer Shakespeare"
"sloppy Narcissus"
"lazy bum with intellectual flair"
"poet laureate of sleaze"
"an old filthy swine"
"an ursine slob with a heart of tin" [huh???]
"fossil counterpart to the "couldn't -care-less' generation"
"elder statesman of down-and-drunken debauchery"
"A Mayakovski of the Pacific"
"the patron saint of punk"
"bukowski's name is synonymous with wild stories of debased depravity" - album info provided by 'real player'
"Le vicomte de la folie ordinaire" (last year, in an article from a french newspaper reviewing The Days run away... which had just released).
OK, I found the Ferlinghetti line. It is:
"Buk is the Duke of Booze, Babes, and Broke Ponies, making poetry out of the sad bad breath of our times."
Don Strachan from 1971 has another one:
"A Pulpy Receptacle of Bad Karma, Self-Pity and Vengeance"
Low-level Gangster Named Cain

I may be pushing the requirements of this thread a bit by excerpting a whole paragraph, but I thought it was too good to edit :

"I have wondered, when asked about Bukowski in Brazil and France, if that's not why so many foreigners admire him: he's simply the American of their imagination, a low-level gangster as poet. Some are Abel poets and some are Cain poets, and Bukowski is clearly the latter (there are those who think of themselves as Cain poets but shift to Abel when they get a job in academia). It is clear in reading him that Bukowski didn't live in a gated community, whether academic or economic. His was the hard-found music of the streets."

NYT Review of Books
November 25, 2007
by Jim Harrison
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"a cult literary figure for decades, decorating T-shirts and bumper stickers, the epitome of hard-drinking, blunt-writing, brawling no-compromise."

"America's greatest writer of the time" (Camus?)
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It is often said that neither Camus nor Sartre, Genet or Miller have ever praised Buk, the three French ones having probably never read him. Concerning Miller, I have read that Buk himself wrote a tribute that he claimed being written by the latter. I don't remember very well the circumstances but I think it was in order to promote himself in Germany.

"I have wondered, when asked about Bukowski in Brazil and France, if that's not why so many foreigners admire him: he's simply the American of their imagination
Well" the American of my imagination has for a long time looked like the rednecks who kill Jack Nickolson, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider "
"Bukowski is the shit, don't ever say a bad word about him in my presence!"
- Barack Obama

"Reading Women makes me wet..."
- Barbara Bush

"Undeniably the penultimate writer of any genre here or in any country at any time in recorded human history."
- Stephen J. Hawkins

"Clearly the most exciting writer America has ever produced."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

"Cogeré que puesto si lo veo nunca otra vez. Todava me debe $20 para los seis paquetes cerveza que nos supusieron partir!"
- Ernesto "Che" Guevara
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what would be funny is if someone used those as real quotes when researching buk though google. as in, an english paper for school....

"to sum up my thesis, as martin luther king once said of bukowski,"....
Now if only Stephen W Hawkins could put a spell on me I'd get it right.:p


Good catch Hank Solo.

Man I loved Screamin Jay, that man rocked! Got to see him live 3 or 4 times....:D
"He is to Los Angeles as Woody Allen is to New York"”in a seedier, dirtier dirty old man kind of way"
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From a 1969 Liza Williams column in the L.A. Free Press:

Charlie is alive on paper, Charlie is a genius, Charlie is a master of nothing and a permanently howling man, he is up to his armpits in beerpiss but his word eyes are rivets and you stay pinned on the page.


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"He is to Los Angeles as Woody Allen is to New York"”in a seedier, dirtier dirty old man kind of way"

Seedier? Dirtier old man?

Hey, Buk never screwed his adopted step daughter, as far as I'm aware. ;) :eek:
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Good point, conveniently overlooked by the quote's author.

"Buk has affirmed the call Walt Whitman made for a clear, articulate, voice" (Neeli Cherry)
I was leafing through a magazine in which there was an interview from Lou Doillon, the daughter of Jane Birkin and Jacques Doillon (a French film director). To the question "Who are your heros ?", she answers : " Losers and those with an oversized ego, like Alexandre the Great. I have a liking for those who persevere into shooting themselves a bullet in the foot, like Henry Miller and Bukowski, the man of my life." (well, the French expression is "l'homme de ma vie", I don't think my translation is correct).
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In an article about the Apostrophe TV programm published in a french newspaper a few days ago, some lines were devoted to Bukowski's appearance in it and our dude was described as a Falstaff. Why not ?

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