Dissertation Question

This is my final year at high school, and for English I've to write a 4,000 ish word dissertation. I think I'd like to do something about the stylistic influences of Hemingway on Bukowski but I'm not entirely sure if that's a topic that I'll be able to write well about, I've not read Hemingway extensively or anything. It might be better to write solely about Bukowski but I feel his novels are pretty self evident, and going down the whole comparing his personal life to his novels isn't something I'd like to do, not for my school anyway. I guess what I'm asking is: do you think there's enough evidence etc that I could find to show Bukowski was influenced by Hemingway, or is there anyone else that would be a better choice (for example Orwell, looking at semi-autobiographical novels) ? Obviously I'm not allowed too much help but I feel if I could just be given a strong direction to go in I'd find it much easier to do research and develop my own opinions. Thanks!
 
As a topic, I would suggest you to look for his views on society, which is present 90% in his works and think about why he became so disillusioned with it. Read Post Office, Ham on Rye or poems, like Dinosauria, we from The Last Night of the Earth Poems and even if those parts you are going to use are self evident, connecting the dots and drawing conclusions will definitely make it an interesting work. In my view it just can't be a very difficult task to pull off and produce it in the given length.
 
Thank you so much! I know it's not that long really, it should probably be fine, I'm just panicking a little since it's the first real work I've ever had to do. But thanks a lot!
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
I guess what I'm asking is: do you think there's enough evidence etc that I could find to show Bukowski was influenced by Hemingway, or is there anyone else that would be a better choice (for example Orwell, looking at semi-autobiographical novels) ? Obviously I'm not allowed too much help but I feel if I could just be given a strong direction to go in I'd find it much easier to do research and develop my own opinions. Thanks!
Hello Mitchellc97,
There are lots of examples, where Bukowski references Hemingway as a writer he admired ( and occasions where he says he lost it) but hard I think to cite specific pieces of work that Bukowski links directly to, or credits Hemingway's work with? Not sure on that.

Maybe being focused on one (very strong) subject Bukowski writes about - work - and using Factotum and Orwell's Down and Out... as a comparison might be an option. He cites Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London as one of the major reasons for doing Factotum - he thought he could do it better.

It was inspired by Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell’s autobiographical account of being destitute in England and France between the wars. ‘This guy thinks something has happened to him?’ he said. ‘Compared to me, he just got scratched. Not that it wasn’t a good book, but it made me think that I might have something interesting to say along those same lines.’
Sounes, Howard (1999-10-16). Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life (p. 141). Canongate Books. Kindle Edition.

In addition to Sounes, there is also Against the American Dream: Essays on Charles Bukowski by Russell Harrison, Chapter Five: Work, Refusal of Work and The Job in Post Office and Factotum, for reference material, if you chose to concentrate on work alone. Unfortunately, I don't think this is available on Kindle, may be another internet source however? A bit pushed if it's to be handed in on Monday:wb:
All the best with it anyway:)
 
[...] do you think there's enough evidence etc that I could find to show Bukowski was influenced by Hemingway, [...]
There's plenty of evidence.
He mentions Hemingway a lot in his work (e.g. the story 'class' in 'South of No North') as well as in his letters and interviews.

Basic line is usually, that he liked Hem's early writing (his first novel 'The Sun Also Rises' and the early stories) but dismissed his later work, esp 'Old man and the sea'.

The books of letters have an index so you can easily find all passages where he mentions Hem. For the interviews go for 'Sunlight here I am' edited by David Calonne.

Then there's THIS essay by Bukowski's friend Gerald Locklin on the subject.

p.s.:
Hemingway is also mentioned A LOT in Buk's poems.
And in 'Ham on Rye' he states about his first reading-experiences as a kid: "And then along came Hemingway. What a thrill! He knew how to lay down a line. It was a joy. Words weren’t dull, words were things that could make your mind hum. If you read them and let yourself feel the magic, you could live without pain, with hope, no matter what happened to you."

There you have it.
 
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Yep, as the others have said the Buk/Hem connection comes up a lot in Buk's work but might be easiest to focus on a single aspect such as work, views on society etc. and perhaps then sprinkle in the connection in some way. Not too many words required anyways, hell your posing of the question alone runs roughly 170, sure you can bang this out. Good luck with the paper Mitchellc97.
 
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