Was Bukowski A Genius?

Many critics and writers have dismissed the importance of Bukowski. Many of them said his material is lowbrow and doesn't warrant serious attention. How do you feel about his work? Is it more than just a few laughs? Is there something that Bukowski brings to the table that no other author does?
 
It almost feels silly having to answer this question.

YES.

His "critics" are creative failures who can't find the resources in Bukowski to help them in the writing of obscurantist bullshit that is academic English scholarship. Thus, they resent him.
 
Bukow is a genius. He looks like an idiot for those who see him from miles apart. Bukow's writings are not mere writings, but a way of living. Why did he hate his post office job?? Why did he put himself beyond the lines of poverty??........ The answers to this questions well explain his attitude.. He tried to free himself from the repressive bonds of culture, tradition, discipline............ He lived the life of an animal, a bird. He slept beneath the moon.He basked under the son. He lived a care free life.
Moreover, his writings are not for literary giants.But for a common man. He brought literature to the murky parts of this world.
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
His "critics" are creative failures
What a lot of narrowed minded shite!

You're basically saying: 'anyone' who criticises bukowski is a 'failure. That is such a petulant, childish attitude. Like: 'My Daddy is the best, he is better than yours, and if you think your Daddy is better, then your an idiot.'

Boy! Some of you folks need to grow up.

Clearly Bukowski can not avoid criticism, in fact, he played critic to himself best. But, all this holier than thou - BUK is untouchably a God - is fucking hilariously naive.

Bukowski was sincere as fuck and there is genius in sincerity - but he coudln't paint the sistine chapel or eingineer an areoplane or improve upon the theory of algebriac equations, nor should he, but the point is his genius, had limitation i.e. poetry and prose: a simple genius perhaps: a clever honest man.

a 'sub' genius. teheee!

Who wants the man to be a genius?
HAHA!
You have failed to understand precisely
what his genius was:

that he was only a
man.


:D
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
Yes, Bukowski was a genius, but there are many geniuses running around, most of whom have no impact on the world. A master craftman with the words, and a huge spirit (although damaged), combined to put into words what many think and feel but can't express. I'm surprised anyone pays attention to what critics think. Who are they, the critics? Mostly non-achievers, professional pendants. What difference does it make what they say? None. Bukowski wisely ignored his critics.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
It seems the word genius is easily lain as moniker upon the man to whom this site is a worthy memorial. Was/is Bukowski my favorite writer? Yes. Unlike most writers, was he equally adept at the poem, short story and novel? Yes (an arguable point, as some of the short stories fall just a bit short of his other works). Could he write dialogue that puts you in the scene unlike most other's contrived dialogue? YES.

Does he appeal to most people? No. Does he write about intellectual topics, a trait that is commonly associated with genius? Most say no, those of us who get it see the intellectual simplicity of his message.

My former mentions of his greatness as a writer do not make him a genius, and my latter mentions of some of the controversy surrounding his writing and subject matter do not preclude his being a genius. I can only think of two other writers who approach Buk's ability as a writer, and they are stylistically very different from him: Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. You guys may see the similarity in terms of ability, whereas most other do not, and, would probably ridicule me for saying it.

Was he a genius? I have no idea what that even means when applied to a writer. What was his IQ? That's how we define genius. Who fucking cares? He got it; he wrote about it. He did it better than anyone else.
 
You're basically saying: 'anyone' who criticises bukowski is a 'failure.
Nope.

I'm saying that professional critics of literature, who argue that Bukowski "doesn't warrant serious attention", are often those who 1) failed as writers themselves (there are a LOT of these; immerse yourself in the world of editing as a summer intern and you will see) and 2) use a criterion of attention-deservingness that depends mainly on how much potential the work has for yielding bullshit, obscurantist "scholarship". There's no hidden meaning for the critics to find in Bukowski's work, and so they conclude that his work has no merit.

Rekrab said:
Who are they, the critics? Mostly non-achievers, professional pendants. What difference does it make what they say? None. Bukowski wisely ignored his critics.
Well said.
 
It seems the word genius is easily lain as moniker upon the man to whom this site is a worthy memorial. Was/is Bukowski my favorite writer? Yes. Unlike most writers, was he equally adept at the poem, short story and novel? Yes (an arguable point, as some of the short stories fall just a bit short of his other works). Could he write dialogue that puts you in the scene unlike most other's contrived dialogue? YES.

Does he appeal to most people? No. Does he write about intellectual topics, a trait that is commonly associated with genius? Most say no, those of us who get it see the intellectual simplicity of his message.

My former mentions of his greatness as a writer do not make him a genius, and my latter mentions of some of the controversy surrounding his writing and subject matter do not preclude his being a genius. I can only think of two other writers who approach Buk's ability as a writer, and they are stylistically very different from him: Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. You guys may see the similarity in terms of ability, whereas most other do not, and, would probably ridicule me for saying it.

Was he a genius? I have no idea what that even means when applied to a writer. What was his IQ? That's how we define genius. Who fucking cares? He got it; he wrote about it. He did it better than anyone else.
I think this is the most sensible answer so far. Except for the IQ defining the 'genius' status. I would disagree with that. There are many with seriously high IQ's who achieve sweet fuck all.
I think the term genius is used far too freely and thus it loses it's true meaning.
He was an inspirational, thought provoking, enigmatic and honest writer.
A genius? I think he would laugh his arse off at that one.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
I think this is the most sensible answer so far. Except for the IQ defining the 'genius' status. I would disagree with that. There are many with seriously high IQ's who achieve sweet fuck all.
I think the term genius is used far too freely and thus it loses it's true meaning.
Well thanks, Onions. My only point on genius is that it doesn't strike me as a subjective concept. To me, having a subjective definition of such a concept defeats its existence. Hence why I turned to IQ.

No doubt many people with very high IQs accomplish Fanny Adams in their lives, but to me, the term genius does not denote success or accomplishement. I've known a few people in my life who were drop dead brilliant (probably geniuses by mathematical definition), and several of them ended up burnt out on drugs and basically accomplished nothing in their lives.

So, it all comes down to how one defines genius. Subjective, or absolute? And yes, it is used far too often, IMO.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
What a lot of narrowed minded shite!

You're basically saying: 'anyone' who criticises bukowski is a 'failure. That is such a petulant, childish attitude. Like: 'My Daddy is the best, he is better than yours, and if you think your Daddy is better, then your an idiot.'

Boy! Some of you folks need to grow up.

Clearly Bukowski can not avoid criticism, in fact, he played critic to himself best. But, all this holier than thou - BUK is untouchably a God - is fucking hilariously naive.

Bukowski was sincere as fuck and there is genius in sincerity - but he coudln't paint the sistine chapel or eingineer an areoplane or improve upon the theory of algebriac equations, nor should he, but the point is his genius, had limitation i.e. poetry and prose: a simple genius perhaps: a clever honest man.

a 'sub' genius. teheee!

Who wants the man to be a genius?
HAHA!
You have failed to understand precisely
what his genius was:

that he was only a
man.


:D
Olaf,
I think that we were all making a bit of a joke. I guess that it was not that obvious. Unless they werew all serious and I missed that fact.

Also, Stephen Hawking could not paint the Sistene Chapel either, ALS or not, so I am not sure how the fact that Bukowski could not paint like the masters would disqualify him.

Bill
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
When I think of genius, I think of the genius of the crowd...:D
 

ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
Well, when I think of genius, I think of Idi Amin, and Hitler.

When I think of genius, I think of the genius of the crowd...


Those two combined just about nail it!
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
Well, when I think of genius, I think of children with Down Syndrome, and Autism.

---


Re:bill - I think painting the sistine chapel requires much more genius skill than writing the most sincere prose in the world.

Both are very close, one is closer...
 
What a lot of narrowed minded shite!

You're basically saying: 'anyone' who criticises bukowski is a 'failure. That is such a petulant, childish attitude. Like: 'My Daddy is the best, he is better than yours, and if you think your Daddy is better, then your an idiot.'

Boy! Some of you folks need to grow up.

Clearly Bukowski can not avoid criticism, in fact, he played critic to himself best. But, all this holier than thou - BUK is untouchably a God - is fucking hilariously naive.

Bukowski was sincere as fuck and there is genius in sincerity - but he coudln't paint the sistine chapel or eingineer an areoplane or improve upon the theory of algebriac equations, nor should he, but the point is his genius, had limitation i.e. poetry and prose: a simple genius perhaps: a clever honest man.

a 'sub' genius. teheee!

Who wants the man to be a genius?
HAHA!
You have failed to understand precisely
what his genius was:

that he was only a
man.


:D
I think you got it in a nut shell there what you said. I'm no intellectual but I can either sit and bemoan chinanski's trials in life or simply admire the man for what? for being so damn human.There's too much adoration on this site , the monster needs to grow more hair failing that get itself artificial body hair
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
There's too much adoration on this site...
Only someone who is new and hasn't had a chance to read many posts could say that.

If you're talking about the site in general, it's bukowski.net, man, what did you expect? If you want to start BukowskisArtificialBodyHair.com, go for it.
 
Sorry mate , maybe i'm just not into all this . What do you think Bukowski himself would make of this site dedicated to him?
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Over 1000 posts
I would not try to define the word genius because generally it is often and only associated with science . But I remember in university, a philosopher, perhaps Kant, had compared artists and scientists for their genius and had proven "bien entendu" with reasoning that the inspiration of both scientists and artists or writers came from the place in one's mind. That inspiration and intuition were at the basis of their creation or theory.
Then a creative force (energy) would drive the individual to produce the proof of their speculation whether it is a mathematical formula, a powerful image or text that explains their vision or conclusion.
I would think that Buk had that ceative energy and a vision. He was driven to put it down in words. How many of us have our bright moments as like (ho! I really get this) and at that moment we experience ecstacy. That flash will not necessarily get us to produce a masterpiece (although we can appreciate it).
Buk had that special creative force in him that drove him to create his body of work. Did he have genius I do not know by all standards but he had BALLS and the Courage to achieve what he did. Not only that but that creative force would not allow him to sit on it. HD with simple words.
So did Céline, my favorite madman.
What does that make them? geniuses I don't know but I do know that they were both damn good writers. They've proven that to us.
If this makes sense to anyone.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

bongobill

Over 100 posts
Sorry mate , maybe i'm just not into all this . What do you think Bukowski himself would make of this site dedicated to him?
what kind of silly question is that?

i think most of us would concur
that he would hate this site
and yet secretly gloat from the recognition
but, who gives a shit anyway
he's dead, his work lives on
and we're all his fans
now go fuck yourself, mate

whether or not he was a genius
who knows
i've known genius's who've accomplished nothing
and ordinary people who've achieved great things
 
Only someone who is new and hasn't had a chance to read many posts could say that.

If you're talking about the site in general, it's bukowski.net, man, what did you expect? If you want to start BukowskisArtificialBodyHair.com, go for it.
I think you're very correct in saying that. I've had a bit of a complex bout joining this site as i would have had joinin any other.Today my head felt like a dung beatle was trapped in it , scurrying around and not gettin anywhere.Was tryin to work out why i'd joined cause it's more then Bukowski appreciation here although I can only do appreciation so much.... But then I got to readin the posts from the other guys and thought wow what a lovely and funny bunch. I'm a bit of a virgin internet user , still they exsist. So I apologise and thank you for instigating me to find ot this sites worth.
 
what kind of silly question is that?

i think most of us would concur
that he would hate this site
and yet secretly gloat from the recognition
but, who gives a shit anyway
he's dead, his work lives on
and we're all his fans
now go fuck yourself, mate
Well what a lovely bunch you were till I came across Mr Bongo Bill , nothing like a bit of aggression to satisfy oneself .I always liked that in Hank , his aggression kinda turned me on.Oh and I was born to ask silly questions
 
Top