How semi-autobiographical is Notes, really?

Hello!

I'm fairly new to this forum, although I have browsed a few of the topics on occasion while preparing for typing out my BA thesis. And that's what I'm here to ask about (hopefully on the right sub-forum as well). I'm going to be featuring some short stories from Notes of a Dirty Old Man in my bachelor's thesis (Buk and masculinity stuff), and came to question the back-cover's claim that the stories are written either from the perspective of Chinaski or "Bukowski himself". I could of course point to a few that seem to be about Buk's life, but all the narrators in Notes are highly unreliable, and while realistic, one can't claim the topics are real, as in, they happened exactly like that. I also can't point to a single story where Chinaski is the narrator (I harshly separate Chinaski and Buk, for narratology reasons for one), so I wonder what the back-cover author was smoking at the time of writing.

So my actual question is, can anybody think of an interview or a statement from Bukowski where he talks about/disputes the autobiographical nature of Notes? Thanks very much in advance for any/all thoughts you might have!

-I
 

mjp

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There were also many versions of Notes published over the past 50 years, so the notes you read on the back cover now may not be the same notes that were originally on the back cover in 1969...

notes-dirty-man-charles-bukowski.jpg
 
Very good point! The copy I have is the 2009 Virgin Books Notes, and this original back-cover rings a little more true to me. Thank you!
 
When interviewed by the FBI/guys at the post office who were pissed that he wrote this column Bukowski stated on February 8, 1968 that "his articles are 'an inter-mixture of fiction and fact' and [...] highly romanticized in order to give the story juice."
In Post Office when he talks about having to write a report documenting his arrest records for DUI and disorderlies, is this a real document and is there anywhere it can be found?
 

Purple Stickpin

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I don't know that the actual report that Buk filled out for the post office is readily available (I could be wrong) but on the main site here, go to the "More" pull-down menu and select FBI Files. On that page you can access the files, which include arrest records and other related FBI findings. So, you'll more or less get the info you're looking for, just not from the source you're asking about.
 
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