If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it.

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"If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life."

I've seen this quote circling around the web for quite a while being credited to Hank. However, I haven't been able to find the source. Anyone of you fellas know where it might come from or if it even comes from Bukowski at all?

Thank you.
 

mjp

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Moderator
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"the library of life"
No.

Makes me wonder though, why people attribute quotes to writers or people who didn't write them. Maybe it's just an elaborate personal joke. But there's not much challenge in attributing something inappropriate to someone and spreading it out over the idiot Internet. Like shooting fish in a barrel.


"This idiot world - manipulating it is like shooting fish in a barrel, no?"
- Gandhi
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
It had to happen.

Pretty soon it will be memes, lulz and jumping cats all over the place.
 
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Alright, so I guess that we can conclude that the quote doesn't come from Bukowski. I still can't help to think that it is a pretty good quote, though. Anyone knows where it might come from?

And, mjp, thanks for giving me a smile. And then also a think.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
What they said. "Purpose" and "duty" don't sound like words Buk would use, especially not in a quote :wb: .
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Its vague, not lucid enough for a true bukquote.
 

Otto jr

Over 100 posts
this lazy quote, as well as "find what you love and let it kill you." both seem to me as the exact opposite of, "Don't Try."
 
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GDPR 4124

What they said. "Purpose" and "duty" don't sound like words Buk would use, especially not in a quote :wb: .
I guess that I, to a certain degree, can agree that the quote that I originally posted might not seem like a typical Bukowski quote. But I would never say that due to the use of the words "duty" and "purpose". I can come to think of at least two places where he has used such words:

"not much chance,
completely cut loose from
purpose"

The first lines from one of my favourite poem of his, Nirvana.

"when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen"

The word chosen from So You Want to Be a Writer? is pretty closely related to the word purpose, I think.

I don't mean to sound jeering (or I guess I do), but judging a writer by two words is, in my opinion, just arrogant.
 

mjp

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The word chosen from So You Want to Be a Writer? is pretty closely related to the word purpose, I think.
Funny you picked that as an example, since Bukowski didn't use the word chosen, Martin (or one of his editors) did.
judging a writer by two words is, in my opinion, just arrogant.
Actually, maintaining that a quote (with no reference) is by Bukowski when we're all saying it's not Bukowski is arrogant.
 
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GDPR 4124

Funny you picked that as an example, since Bukowski didn't use the word chosen, Martin (or one of his editors) did.
Oh, I had no idea about that. Thanks for illuminating me a little more.

Just to make it clear, I am in no way trying to convince anyone that I am right here. I am very trustworthy of your knowledge in the area and that is also why I initially asked for your help.

All that I am saying is that to me it just doesn't seem right to pass judgements on the larger whole based on small details. Not just in this particular case, but in general, too.
 
Hello! The quote shared above is from my own writing, not Bukowski's. It initially appeared in this article http://www.rebellesociety.com/2012/10/22/writing-lab-advice-from-charles-bukowski/ inspired by one of Bukowski's poems - published on RebelleSociety.com on October 22, 2012. Someone pulled the quote out of this article, put it on Tumblr, and mistakenly (and I want to believe, unintentionally) attributed it to Charles Bukowski. Thousands of notes and shares later, the quote is officially attributed to Bukowski and is now even listed on goodreads under his name.

How does one change this? I just googled the whole quote, and this forum came in the search. So I'd like to thank you for at least initiating this thread and giving me a chance and place to share this misunderstanding.
 

Otto jr

Over 100 posts
You just did the single best thing that you could have done to remedy this situation. Your words will find more readers (who actually give a damn) here than anywhere else on the internet, or anywhere for that matter.
 
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