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

Yes

When I started to read Hank I was inspired to write, but I didn't just read him, I read, and am reading a lot of the authors that inspired him as well. To make sure that I don't just mimik his style. If I only mimik him, I may end up being completely caught up in form, rather than being spontaneous. He wasn't the first author though. I was originally inspired by an author called Derrick Jensen, but I made the mistake of writing to him, and he turned out to be an asshole(arsehole). I am lucky that I discovered Bukowski because if I hadn't I might not have found someone who looked like he understood what suffering is all about, and understood what I feel like.
I also only write about my experiences of life. My life is really pathetic. Publishers might find it funny enough to publish.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
When I started to read Hank I was inspired to write, but I didn't just read him, I read, and am reading a lot of the authors that inspired him as well. To make sure that I don't just mimik his style. If I only mimik him, I may end up being completely caught up in form, rather than being spontaneous. He wasn't the first author though. I was originally inspired by an author called Derrick Jensen, but I made the mistake of writing to him, and he turned out to be an asshole(arsehole).

What I liked about Derrick Jensen was that he was coming from a place that
was uncommon in traditional mainstream publishing. He had broken through.
When I began reading him I found some passages that were literally word for
word parallel to something a friend of mine had written and published years
before, and his whole framework fell apart for me. I still like his work. I still
believe that he comes from an untraditional place, and I applaud his veracity,
and freshness. But I look at him with squinted eyes now, looking at the
horizon, and how he fits among it.

I am lucky that I discovered Bukowski because if I hadn't I might not have found someone who looked like he understood what suffering is all about, and understood what I feel like.
I also only write about my experiences of life. My life is really pathetic. Publishers might find it funny enough to publish.

Most publishers are not amused by what is Phunny, son.
It's not what's Phunny, it's what's Munney, hunny.

Keep reading.
Keep writing.
Keep on keeping on. . .
 
I finished both volumes of Jensen's Endgame a few months back...the guy is one of the only one's speaking the truth out there in my humble opinion.
 
it's excellent stuff that can cause a crisis of conscience and provides the most valid argument for violent action against those that continue to destroy this world that I have ever read.
 
If Bukowski doesn't make you feel like writing (and write authentically), then I think you've missed the best point of his life's work. As for imitating his style, why would you not? That's how we grow : First through emulation then, if you're good enough, into your own style. This is true from infancy, through childhood and it's true all through adulthood. Isn't it also true that Bukowski openly admitted he admired and emulated John Fante? Can you really imagine Bukowski satisfied only with dumbstruck, fawning readers who were not inspired by his works to write themselves, even if at first their product was a mere pale imitation of the master?
 

ROC

It is what it is
If Bukowski doesn't make you feel like writing (and write authentically), then I think you've missed the best point of his life's work.
Huh?
So I can't appreciate his writing unless I then write?
What if I can't write for shit?
(which is definitely the case).
Should I stop reading?
I must have missed the point.

Can you really imagine Bukowski satisfied only with dumbstruck, fawning readers who were not inspired by his works to write themselves, even if at first their product was a mere pale imitation of the master?

Yes.

But I don't think he have a shit one way or the other.
I believe he wasn't writing for the fawners, the emulators, the inspired, the insipid, the president or the poesies on the wall paper.
He was writing for himself.
He says this about a dozen times in his work.
 
But has his work ever made you feel like writing.. even if you don't in fact write? (which was my point).

Should you stop reading? Why would you stop reading? I doubt you miss the point of what Bukowski wrote.

I would dispute whether he didn't give a shit either way, as he did go to great lengths to be published... and did not spurn every opportunity to be heard in the flesh... and why should he not want to be heard and appreciated and, yes, even emulated? He had something special to say.
 
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then it would be hard to imagine that a communicator of Bukowski's caliber who did not shun publicity would not also appreciate being imitated. He was grateful to John Fante for his influence on his own writing and was not shy in admitting it... why would he not appreciate a reciprocation of sorts? He would certainly have understood it.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
okay. let's fight.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,

Wellll..

then it would be hard to imagine that a communicator of Bukowski's caliber who did not shun publicity would not also appreciate being imitated.

The problem is that that there is so much crap out there. Anyone wanting a
foothold can say, Well, yeah. I was influenced by Bukowski, see? So ain't I
worth a look?

The truth is that if you are influenced by anyone, Bukowski, Robert Frost,
Edgar Allen Poe, you'd better be good. And most people won't care about who
your influences are if you write crap. Most imitation is crap.


He was grateful to John Fante for his influence on his own writing and was not shy in admitting it... why would he not appreciate a reciprocation of sorts? He would certainly have understood it.

See, that's what else. There is influence, and there is imitation. Bukowski was
influenced, and he had a voice which was his.

Imitators don't have that.
 
Oh I see the problem now : undefined terms. May I define imitate or emulate as borrowing a style from an influential writer to understand its functions. Something you would do privately. I did not mean to suggest you take Bukowski change the words a bit and publish it as your own.

However your assertion that imitators (necessarily, I presume) "don't have that" is debatable. Consider the many examples of imitation in rock and roll, the most famous example being George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord". This is a considerably more memorable song than the one it was supposed to have ripped off - That being "He's so Fine"
 

mjp

Founding member
Oh I see the problem now : undefined terms.
I understood your terms. I just disagree with you. Bukowski made it clear how he felt about others trying to adopt his style. We don't have to wonder what he thought.

...George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord". This is a considerably more memorable song than the one it was supposed to have ripped off - That being "He's so Fine"
You're kidding, right? Not saying one is better than the other - they are both astoundingly boring. Though I'd much rather hear "Doodle-ang, doodle-ang" than "Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna." But that's just me.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
Oh I see the problem now : undefined terms. May I define imitate or emulate as borrowing a style from an influential writer to understand its functions. Something you would do privately. I did not mean to suggest you take Bukowski change the words a bit and publish it as your own.

You may define dog crap as fragrant blossoms of vermilion polenta, that doesn't make it so.

However your assertion that imitators (necessarily, I presume) "don't have that" is debatable. Consider the many examples of imitation in rock and roll, the most famous example being George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord". This is a considerably more memorable song than the one it was supposed to have ripped off - That being "He's so Fine"

I didn't realize that Bukowski sang My Sweet Lord. In that case, I stand corrected.
 
I understood your terms. I just disagree with you. Bukowski made it clear how he felt about others trying to adopt his style. We don't have to wonder what he thought.

Have you considered that Bukowski had a keen sense of irony?

He is effusive in his praise of Fante and is unequivocal that he adopted Fante's style of writing and that Fante remained a lifelong influence, so he accepted in himself that emulation was nothing to be ashamed of.

He also often wrote that he never cried and yet he allowed himself to be filmed crying while reciting a poem about Linda.
 

mjp

Founding member
Have you considered that Bukowski had a keen sense of irony?
No, I never considered that. I hadn't really given too much thought to Bukowski until you showed up.

I see how this is going, so let me just make it easy for us both: Sircha, you are absolutely right about [insert any topic here]!
 
Aw come on mjp. I'm not doing this cos I "need to be right", but I wouldn't be making statements here with the expectation that they are unsubstantiated.

Does Bukowski make me want to write? Yes and I believe that Bukowski's poetry should make any fan feel like writing in the way that a song you like makes you feel like singing. If it doesn't (in my opinion), you have missed the best point of his work. That is my opinion. I do not imagine that he expected only fawners and the dumbstruck in his fan base as he himself emulated and adopted the style of at least one admired writer (namely Fante). The latter is fact stated unequivocally by Bukowski himself. The former is inferred from Bukowski's own non-equivocation. The inference is based on the belief that what you grant morally for yourself, by default (all else being equal of course), you grant morally for others (i.e. there is nothing wrong with emulation and in fact it is a natural part of human experience). Is this imitation or emulation necessarily lesser than the so-called "original"? That can be debated (i.e. My Sweet Lord or perhaps Joe Cocker's interpretation of "get by with a little help from my friends"... and the list could go on for pages). Did Bukowski contradict himself? Of course he did! He was human.. we all contradict ourselves, particularly over the duration of many decades of life. Did Bukowski care that he was read or heard or emulated? I believe so. What else would he be doing trying as hard as he did to be published and heard? If he didn't care he would not have gone to so much trouble... And thank God he did care, otherwise I would not have had the privilege of reading and hearing his thoughts on his life.

None of the above is an indictment of Bukowski himself or his work on my part nor should it be seen to be.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
Aw come on zzzzzzzzzzz

Does Bukowski make zzzzzzzzzz

for others (i.e. there is nothing wrong with emulation and in fact it is a
natural part of human exzzzzzzzzzzzzz

heard? If he didn't care he would not have zzzzzzzzzzzz

None of the above is an indictment of Bukowski himself or his work on my part
nor should it zzzzzzz.

You are absolutely right.

- -
Okay,
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when i first read bukowski back in my freshman year of high school, i think i wrote something like 150 poems emulating his style. and they're bad. since then i've really evolved as a writer, and i've worked at developing my own voice. but i regard that period of blatant copying his style as very important to my own growth as a writer. without that emulation (or imitation) i wouldn't have found out how much i love to read and write poetry. and ultimately, i think bukowski, as much as he seemed like he just didn't care, would be flattered that he inspired a large amount of people to write. oh i really should dig up those old bukowski poems though, they're pretty funny. and i have some cummings attempts too, but that's for another forum i guess.
 
Maybe they aren't as good to you now as you thought they were then, but I bet there's a part of you that still loves 'em anyway!

Cheers!
 
uhh yeah Bukowski makes me want to write. I don't expect to ever be published, but I come home at night from work, and I live alone, so I drink a good many beers, and smoke cigarettes and type away, what I'm feeling, I type about events of my day. I don't expect anyone should give a crap, I just like to do it. I think Bukowski knew when he wrote Ham on Rye that we would be able to relate somewhat to his stories of a badass broken home and his first time trying wine in his friends cellar, I think he knew we would say "hey man, that sounds familiar" and I think that was part of his beauty, he knew how to reach everyone else. Im drunk. Sorry, but I dig it man.
 
G

Garret

"In the past it was seen as valid, even essential, to copy the masters and thereby learn. Current thinking is that this is now somehow outdated, naff and unoriginal. I challenge this notion. Too my mind it does a chap, or lass, good to try walking about in someone else's skin for an hour or two. It brings us closer to the artist we are honouring, closer to ourselves and thereby closer to God."

--Billy Childish (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A2819027)
 
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I wonder, has there ever been an artist, singer, writer etc.. who has not at one time copied an admired master?
 
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That hit it for me. His "no holds barred," to his feelings and impressions
frees one from our repressed horseshit.
Art (movies, painting , even chickenwire performance dancing..)
shows us it's okay to be human and not have to hide a past of
(what we once thought) hideous indignities.
What a waste of years I've had trying to be a phoney yuppie to get laid.
 

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