But the last sentence of his statement is what really pisses me off, "I don't like people who do the kind of work that I do." It's the kind of thinking that says that artists are phony establishment, literary types and yet he claims to have no relation to them. He pays disrespect to the shoulders of the giants he walks upon.
That's absolutely right, and the attitude was meant to piss [STRIKE]her[/STRIKE] him off. [STRIKE]She[/STRIKE] He doesn't have enough humor in [STRIKE]her[/STRIKE] him to recognize that. So, Bukowski: 1, crabby old teacher [STRIKE]lady[/STRIKE] guy: 0.
I try to think of another one I've read, years ago, somewhere on the net from a guy or a girl or whatever who provided an extremly snobbish and stupid definition of poetry (or so it seemed to me back then), saying, before you ever think of writing your first poem you have to read and understand all the history of poetry, where it comes from, who did what and when and where every poem stands or should stand in the line of gaaaaaaaaaaa ... etc.
Does anyone recognize this humble description? It was quite accurately written, kind of academic (what else) essay sort of thing and not a short one.
I always wanted to post that here for your mere amusement. Always forgot. Now I can't find it anymore. Maybe it's gone for good.
I stopped reading after the line "pretentious illiterate...doesnt have any respect for literature." which just made me wonder why Buk loves, praises and read with pleasure Catullus, Rabelais, Li Po, Celine, Pound, Tu Fu, Genet, Vallejo, Artaud, Hemingway, Hamsun, Saroyan, Miller, cummings, et. etc. Sounds like an illiterate, anti-literature kind of guy to me...
Hello-- Not much for introductions, but have browsed this forum on and off for a year or so. Just felt like responding to the topic at hand.
I think the most aggravating thing about this article, for me, is that line about Bukowski being "disrespectful" towards poetry because he likened it to a beer shit. Francis Raven takes it as some kind of literal, insulting phrase, because the cocksucker has never been drunk in his life off of cheap beer. A beer shit feels good. The poetry is not the goddamned shit in the toilet but the cathartic feeling of expelling something foul after ingesting so much garbage. That is how Bukowski, and many poets/writers, feel about putting words on the page.
He then defends himself by saying that you shouldn't read too far into Bukowski's line, which is also bullshit because he is saying that his opinion is the only one valid. Which is pretentious.
His second point is, Bukowski doesn't think about his poetry, and doesn't think of himself as a poet; therefore (this is the subtext of the argument) Bukowski is not a real poet because he does not think of himself as one and does not think about poetry during his normal day. But we can only conclude from Bukowski's thousands and thousands of poems, some of which he inserts himself as the "pitcher" in a league game of famous literati, that he ONLY thinks of himself as a poet and a writer, and has lived only as a poet and a writer could. Raven uses a tidbit of interview, three lines as he likes to point out, in order to frame Bukowski in a way that best fits his argument while ignoring his entire life's work. This is similar to what reactionist pundits do when discussing politics. There is nothing to debate here, and taking the rather abstract definition of poet to compare to the concrete one of engineer, which Raven does to prove his point of Bukowski being a bad and unhappy poet, is totally wrong.
Calling someone "pretentous about not being pretentious" lacks an understanding of the definition of pretentiousness, which can be found in any local dictionary or hipster hangout. By identifying yourself as somebody who is opposite of a certain concept does not make you said concept, although it can shape what you are. In other words, Bukowski exists as a non-pretentious poet because he allowed himself to be influenced by pretentiousness. A modicum of pretentiousness remains, I would argue, when he insists that only he knows how to write poetry, or that he is the "pitcher" in a league of all-starts. But that modicum of pretentiousness is found mainly in an ego which envelops it, and is not pretentious.
The last part of the argument by Raven, I feel, is valid, but that is because it is opinion of what it means to be a good person. That is always up for debate.