Does reading Bukowski make you want to write? (1 Viewer)

Just curious if people commonly find that Bukowski inspires them to try to write? I'm sure there are many on here who consider themselves writers. I find the more I read Bukowski, the more I want to try and mimic his style. Now, of course I'm no Bukowski, so most of my stuff amounts to "pig farts" but regardless, I just get the urges to try and describe my own life and its ordinary madness in the same way Buk did.

Just curious if other feel the same. Perhaps some of you didn't try to write until reading Bukowski. I was always interested in writing before I even knew of Buk, but reading Buk has definitely influenced my approach and I think has allowed me to be more honest in my writing.

thanks
 
I can only speak for myself on that question. I write dialogue for cartoons and I've always kept half-assed journals for something to do. Since I discovered Bukowski, as well as other writers, I do find myself having the urge to write more. Free style, stream of consiousness driven stories. They usually turn into something I can use for my cartoons. The unfortunate thing about being a Bukowski fan and trying to write is the inevitable emulation. As it's very easy to relate to his simple style and the fact that most people with any degree of dissatisfaction with their work, women or lives in general relate easily to him. It's very hard not to copy his style. I believe many people do so unconsiously, as well as consiously. My friend owns a small coffeeshop and I've suffered through many readings there just to support his business and I can always tell the poets who just completely bite his style and try to pass it off as their own. I think you can use his style as long as you add your own original elements. In today's world, with so much information so close at hand, it's near impossible not to have someone you admire's work not blend in with your own. As they say, it's all been done. So even though someone else has blazed the trail before you, it's ok to emulate to a degree. Basically, how can you not?
 
originality doesn't just spring out of nowhere and it doesn't grow on lemon trees. Bukowski had influences. every artist who ever lived had influences, and for the most part there was one strong influence that compelled them to do what they wanted to do and did do. Buk himself was fairly lost until he stumbled upon Fante and I think when you add it up he pretty much says/admits as much. People seem to think there is something wrong with this stuff, but there isn't.

you should embrace what influences you have and not try cover it up or worry about being a copycat. if Buk makes you want to write then just write don't worry about it and see what happens. don't try to emulate him but don't try not to, either. if you have any talent it will eventually surface. but no one is going to become the modern day Bukowski anymore than Bukowski became the modern day Fante or Celine.
 
D

deadhead

I think you guys are right on. I'm trying to write and reading Buk has helped open me up, just get the words flowing and be honest about it. I still have a lot of reading to go before I get through it all but has anyone heard of any published writers walking in his footsteps? I'm just starting out and sometimes I feel as if he's showing me the way.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Hi,
I'll mention two things:

1) Buks writing looks easy, but I don';t think that it is easy to pull off well.

2) There are many people that read Buk and then decide that they need to write about women, horses, booze.

If he inspires you to write, that is great. If you are into his way of writing, great, but it should be about your likes, not Buk's.

There are a great many drunks out there that cannot write, there are a great many writers out there that cannot write.

Still, it is better to create than not to create.

Bill
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
yeah, so many people try to emulate Bukowski. He wouldn't want that. I'm sure he would feel a mild indifference if you said, hey Buk, you inspired me to write. But I think he'd laugh his ass off at people trying to rip his style.
 
D

deadhead

I would not ever try to emulate someone else's style. But I can't help but be influenced. Buk is just one of many.
 
Yes Buk is a major influence, more so with regard to his poetry then his novels. But to deny your influences in the hope of attaining some kind of 'originality' in your work is foolish

Tarantino said
"I steal from every single movie ever made. If people don't like that, then tough tills, don't go and see it, all right? I steal from everything. Great artists steal, they don't do homages".

I think this quote is true for any kind of artist, be it painter/writer/filmmaker/musician

Use and refine what you learn from others
 
He puts words on how I feel myself many times. It makes me feel painfully inspired to get something out. Unfortunatly I`m no writer. I`m a painter though - and he inspires me to be more bold and true in my expressions.
 
He didn't make me want to write. I was doing that intially...

but he helped me realise you don't have to be a stiff to write.
or you don't need to know Derrida's entire deconstruvtive theory
or be overly concerned with being intellectual
to make poetic or literary sense

i knew this,
but Buk made it
all much clearer

thank god.
 
but no one is going to become the modern day Bukowski anymore than Bukowski became the modern day Fante or Celine.
No, he was the modern day Hemingway :D
Seriously, if you're inspired by Buk to write, you will use his style as a crutch till you grow your own stylistic legs. That's how things work with writers, with good writers, Kerouac ripped off Wolfe and Beckett ripped off Joyce. It's obscene to the extent that Beckett ripped off Joyce but of course, he had to write through Joyce to find his own voice.
I guess, not being a writer myself, that the trick to being a good writer is simply to write often. Talking your stories through helps but by writing often, you'll develop that consistency in your own voice that solidifies beyond your influence. Meaning, that as you figure out what you want to accomplish as a writer (versus that of Buk or whoever), your work will sound like you. I guess all you would be writers take that from the man, Buk wrote often, submitted often and was rejected often.
 

vodka

Miss Take
i agree with bospress.net and olaf.

it looks easy but it's not. and also i was writing before i picked up bukowski. the thing about bukowski for me, is that i didn't really get him until i got a little older. i'm thirty three now and it all hit me smack in the middle of the eyes about two years ago.

bukowski breaks just about every poetic rule known to man and that is one of the qualities i find most admirable about his writing. he breaks all these rules, yet he still comes out victorious.

also, i don't think it would work if he weren't absolutely capable of making it all ring true.

it's sort of like, a bit more and it wouldn't work, a bit less and it wouldn't work either.

plus, his early work is one thing but there are times in his later works and the things which were published after he died that are nothing less than brilliant.

i think a lot of people don't like him yes, because of the type of man he was but also because he so successfully made a career of breaking rules and saying 'fuck you' to the stereotypical literary world in general.

so in short, yes- bukowski inspires me to write. although he is not the only poet who inspires me, he has had a significant impact on my style.

ergh, for my first post out of introduction i hope that made some sort of sense.
 
Brillant! Your comment is spot on.

Particularly: it's sort of like, a bit more and it wouldn't work, a bit less and it wouldn't work either.

:D It has been understood.
 
Reading Bukowski makes me want to write poetry. I started a notebook and I can not help but to emulate his style. His simplicity and his use of lists in his writing make it an easy style for a person to vent about his/her existence. I agree with vodka, the style seems easy but it is hard to capture the same grit and sense of alienation that some of his poems posses. A great line from the documentary Born into This, Bukowski talks about how became a writer. And he says that writing for him was "an easy and nice thing to do" and I have similar feelings. It feels good to write the line even if the style has already been done...
 
Yeah, I've been writing poetry since high school, about 25 years. I stopped writing for a while in my late 20's. I didn't have much going on that I wanted to escape. Writing was always my escape. I picked it up again a while back, a couple of years ago when I discovered the music of the Dresden Dolls. Since I got into Bukowski though, I have really shifted gears. I can't slow down.
 
i am still a little new to buk - he was introduced to me by the dearest of friends. i have read some, listened to some, but i must agree that there is something in that man's tone - his words, his demeanor - that makes me want to drink. his words go well with wine and cigarettes. eventually, the wine and cigarettes lead to revelations that push me to the paper...

...so i guess, in some sideways way, yes, buk makes me want to write.
 
"There are a great many drunks out there that cannot write, there are a great many writers out there that cannot write."
And there are a great many writers out there that cannot drink. Naturally a great writer inspires his fans to write. If you can't help the urge, go ahead and do it and see what happens. That's easy. The rare few will be good, but it doesn't hurt to try. However, the rarest few are the fans who are inspired enough to get a tattoo of the great writer.
Now that's a brave step.
 
I have no idea what really makes me want to write...reading I guess, piles of books in the home, small town boredom combined with the sanctuary of the library...shit, it was easier than math equations.

Bukowski (and others) allowed me to realize that that the individual on the margins, the oft dismissed and demonized had a voice that spoke to ME and others like me. Validation. Commraderie.
 
W

walkaroundnaked

To answer the thread starters question: Yes absolutely. Don't know exactly why that is, not yet. But I would never aspire to be like him, that'd be assinine.

Though I would like to see someone start a "Write Like Bukowski Contest" just for the heck of it. It would be amusing and I'd probrably get a kick out of the winners submission.

I'd venture to guess that there are many people out there who could mimick CB's writing, as there are people out there who could mimick the voice of Rosie O'Donnel or George Bush.
 
Write like Bukowski? Write it then send your shit into a publisher and get shot down. There's millions out there who after reading Bukowski think they are just like him and can write like him. Imitation isn't flattery, it's for people who have no talent and style of their own. Find your own way. Better yet, don't even try.
 

chronic

old and in the way
Though I would like to see someone start a "Write Like Bukowski Contest" just for the heck of it. It would be amusing and I'd probrably get a kick out of the winners submission.

contest.jpg
 
for me...bukowski helped me realize that there needn't be any rules in writing poetry (or writing anything). just write what you feel and that's what will be your best writing. to try and write like him, or anyone for that matter would be foolish...though their influence might be easy to see, you still have to write what's true to you...or else it will have no heart.
 
Anyone good at what they do (writing, painting, singing, acting, rasing a child) inspires me to write. It would be easier to list what makes me not write (presently working for corporate america is the main energy drain - as long as I keep quitting, I keep writing, so I find ways to quit in small doses). I agree with others that certain writers such as Bukowski, Raymond Carver, Tobias Wolff, etc., make it look easy, which might give many hope that they can do the same. But isn't this just another form of inspiration, spurred on by how they relate to that writer's creativity?
 
The wife
signs
calling
to me and
cries
as the sun dies
laughter
sinks
to the
scurvey
horizon
it
sucks
when
poets
try to
make this cool
you know
it just
plain
sucks
as my wife awakes
with that dirty
smile on her
face
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
The man with the beautiful eyes

oil inspired by "the man with the beautiful eyes"
 

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Father Luke

Founding member
Right. Inspiration to write must also include, painting, singing (that poor opera singer), and so forth.

Charles Bukowski is a very inspiring man. And, like legions of others before him,
his originality, his drive, and his life, thoughts and actions, are even more of an
influence in his death.
 
INspiration!

yeah, so many people try to emulate Bukowski. He wouldn't want that. I'm sure he would feel a mild indifference if you said, hey Buk, you inspired me to write. But I think he'd laugh his ass off at people trying to rip his style.

Surely there's a massive difference between ripping off people's style and being inspired by them? No one can EVER be the same or as original as Buk.....
But fuck it...if he thought what I write or anyone else writes was SHIT he'd say so! I could live with that......

But i'm gonna Fucking try, when I get home from the Cannery!:D
 

chronic

old and in the way
But i'm gonna Fucking try, when I get home from the Cannery!:D

You work at a cannery? I feel for you. I took a job at a fish cannery in Oregon once as a crab-picker. Walked out after two hours. It took three weeks to get the stink off.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
You work at a cannery? I feel for you. I took a job at a fish cannery in Oregon once as a crab-picker. Walked out after two hours. It took three weeks to get the stink off.

You guys must have read Fante's "Road to Los Angeles". I laughed so hard when I read the part when Dictator Bandini, Ironman of Crabland is fighting all those crabs under the bridge.
 

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