Why do you like Bukowski? (1 Viewer)

Why do you like Bukowski? What is "the best" in his writing?
He says important things in simple way? He gives hope for people on bottom or
something else...
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
The better question is "why do you like Bukowski?" I could explain it, but it would take volumes. It is all here in the forum.

Bill
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
His sobriety and his always gentleman-like behavior, not to mention the love for his father...
 
Chinaski is the best anti-hero of all time, better than Dostoevski's Unnamed, Joyce's Bloom, Camus' Mersault, Sartre's Roquentin...you name it. Theres no one better at aiiming low and hitting high than the BUK. That odd method of delivering pertinence, the "WHERE" that it come-from is so disagreeable to itself that it is induplicatable. And damn he's funny.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Why do you like Bukowski? What is "the best" in his writing?
He says important things in simple way? He gives hope for people on bottom or
something else...

The better question is "why do you like Bukowski?" I could explain it, but it would take volumes. It is all here in the forum.

Huh? I thought the question was Why do you like Bukowski?

Oh - wait. Bill, do you mean 'Why do you like Bukowski?'

Now I see.

I'm going to ask myself that question. Why do I like Bukowski? Hmmm. It's not something I've ever tried to analyse. When I first read Bukowski I was about 17. My first book was Factotum. And I just really enjoyed it. Now the thing is that this copy of Factotum was a drab UK edition from Virgin books. But shortly after completing Factotum I visited the city library and checked their inventory of Bukowski. If I recall things correctly they had perhaps 6 books, 2 or 3 of which were German translations. But I managed to reserve (yes they were all on loan) and then borrow 'Love is a Dog From Hell' and so my next Bukowski was poetry. Straight away I knew I was hooked. Hooked on the direct and honest writing. And after a visit to a local book shop, I was hooked on the 'quality' or the style or feel of the imported Black Sparrow editions. Somewhere along the line I became a collector, but only a modest one.

Bukowski really does have a very accessible, direct and honest style. I came to his work with no preconceptions or prejudice - the copy of a Factotum was one a friend had just bought and inadvertently left at my house and I had never heard of this Bukowski fellow and knew nothing of him or his image or his myth. So it was the writing that hooked me. He really had something.

As to your point about Bukowski giving hope to people 'on the bottom' - I don't know if he does. He certainly writes about living 'on the bottom' but is there hope? The tales are never really aspirational are they?

No, I can't really explain it can I. Can you?
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
His sobriety and his always gentleman-like behavior, not to mention the love for his father...

And the fact that he didn't write at all, never, not once.


I like Bukowski because he doesn't bullshit. I mean, alcoholics are full of shit, myself included, but in Buk's writing it's stripped bare. Father Luke help me out on this, but there's a very good quote of his that says, "Art may be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way." Which is exactly what he does. As far as his "giving people on the bottom hope", yeah, I like that too. I mean, I live in Troy. Bums are good people, I love and have loved many bums, many in my family.
 
Probably his ability to combine so many different styles, moods, themes, etc. I think Buk is unique in that he is violent, sacred, low-class (beer, bums), high-class (Artaud, Mahler, Shostakovich, fine German white wine), tragic, nihilistic, absurd, extremely funny, witty, etc. I mean is there another writer you can think of that can do all of that?
Usually it's one or the other: are Dostoyevsky or Sartre very funny? I think Beckett's "Murphy" is fairly funny, but not as funny as Buk. But there is perhaps a very specific American humor in Buk.
He is witty, quick, delivers lines with an impeccable sense of comic timing.
Sometimes I wonder: is Buk a comic writer mainly?
But no, because then you think of those horrible, depressed, suicidal poems in "Love is A Dog from Hell" or so many other anguished moments in his work.
He's both. That's why he's unique and great.
 
I buy only books of great writers, Shekspeare, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov,Aristotle
etc.

But I bought all Bukowski books (novels ,stories). Maybe Bukowski will be
considered as a cllasic two hundred years from now because of his quality?

Why I like him:
-he use simple language to explain deep
- he is calm, not nervous , not neurotic and histerical
- he is ready to laugh to everyone including himself
- "life is good to you as much as you alow him to be"
- he is rational like german, polite like englishman
and freeminded like american (this combination)

Not sure yet, that's why I asked...
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
I like him because he reminds me of my grandfather, and he is easy for me to read.

I always frown when I say mother fucker, especially after I've hit my finger with a hammer.
 
I like Buk because he is the only writer I have yet found to nail the insanity of humanity and the day-to-day life (such as it is) of those of us closer to the bottom than the top of the social heap without all the hypocrisy and dancing around issues that other writers seem to indulge in.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
I wouldn't say that he intended to give hope to people on the bottom, or had any "noble cause" at all. But that would not be my reason for liking or disliking him.

What I value most about Buk is his fearlessness.
That man greeted everything - past, present, and future - with a steady eye.
He didn't depend on tradition, custom, or culture for his validation. He knew he had what it takes and that eventually he would be appreciated.

Plus - at some point - he decided that his entire life was one long poem.
And that is remarkable.
 

chronic

old and in the way
What I value most about Buk is his fearlessness.
That man greeted everything - past, present, and future - with a steady eye.
He didn't depend on tradition, custom, or culture for his validation. He knew he had what it takes and that eventually he would be appreciated.

Plus - at some point - he decided that his entire life was one long poem.
And that is remarkable.

I think you nailed it. What more can be said?
 
It feels good to read something and know that you're not alone. There's pleasure in finding a well written line that sums up something that you've felt, but haven't been able to express as clearly. It's cathartic. In Buk's case, I admire the way he wrote about the ugliness and stupidity of life, and how it feels to live outside the vulgar herd. He had style. I'd have liked to hang around while he ate his bologna sandwiches.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
At first it was just because he wrote his novels like Fante.

About a week after finishing Ham on Rye (my second Buk book), I picked up a remaindered copy of Slouching Toward Nirvana and was amazed that his poetry was full of humor! Ham On Rye was such a different tone than the poetry and I was hooked.

Later, it because his mixture of straight storytelling and more obtuse symbolism in his poetry. Plus... everything is so simple in his poetry that belies the complexity of what he's REALLY saying. He packs a lot into a few lines, even a few words.
 
It feels good to read something and know that you're not alone. There's pleasure in finding a well written line that sums up something that you've felt, but haven't been able to express as clearly. It's cathartic. In Buk's case, I admire the way he wrote about the ugliness and stupidity of life, and how it feels to live outside the vulgar herd. He had style. I'd have liked to hang around while he ate his bologna sandwiches.


yes!
 
I like a lot of things about Bukowski. I like the playfulness, humour and honesty in his writing.

-I like how he says things that most people hold back. Everything is very raw and stripped down both in style and substance. (I hate writers who hide behind big fancy words!) The stuff he writes feels very real and not "touched up".

-I like how he is such a contradiction at times. Sometimes I feel disgusted by the things he writes and the way his characters act...I hate his actions sometimes but it reminds me that no humans are perfect creatures...but at least he doesn't hold back and hide behind false emotions and feelings like most humans learn to do. At the end of it he never fails to touch my heart. Although I am not the most experienced Buk fan, if I were to some up him in one piece I would choose his poem 'Bluebird'...it is so heartbreakinglyhonest and beautiful it makes me want to cry! I could listen to him reading it 100, 000x a day!

-I like how he represents the ultimate under-dog who rose from "the shit" not by his looks or by luck but by a raw talent and a burning passion.

-I like how I can relate to him in so many ways.

Awww....I wish he was my grandfather! haha.
 
Humor and honesty are Buk's main hallmarks. He has that ability to talk about something you see everyday and still shock you into laughing and crying at the same time.

Attitudes towards literature then seemed very puritanical. They're that way today, albeit with more leeway. I still have this image of an editor being like a television censor. "You can't say that! It's dirty! Make it clean!" i.e. dumb it down so it loses any flavor and distinctive style.
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Awww....I wish he was my grandfather! haha.
For my part, I consider Buk like a spiritual father, a mentor whose books helped me to take some major decisions and to free myself from other people's opinion. He learned me not to care anymore of what people, especially my friends or my family, can think about me and the choices I do ; I now completely feel free, which was not really the case before I read him.
And thanks to him, I met a boy like I have never met before. Our huge passion for Hank rapidly made us become very close. Now all is over, I still feel very sad for having lost him but I am grateful to Buk for having allowed such an unexpected encounter.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Well, I was never smart enough to go out with a girl because of what she read...my problem.

Fact is Buk didn't nail it everytime at all. There are plenty of stinkers in his repertoire. Plenty of passages and drivel that are just bridges between the great ones. But what is always resonating, no matter the written fodder before you, is a rendering of phrases that honestly or dishonestly affects you with an enrichening version of reality. It is not the job of the artist to please anyone...or even please himself. It is the job of the artist to build upon his efforts and move...just move. Buk did this better than anyone.
 
cause I thought I was the only one who got shithouse drunk off cheap wine, rotgut whiskey and tallboy high lifes, alone, and cranked Shostakovich, Brahms, Rachmaninoff etc. on my stereo and all of a sudden all was right with the world. Then I read Buk and it justified such antisocial behavior. The dichotomic nature of his character which, i feel, mirrors my own so much. The guy is romantic and soulful as all hell but a brash, drunken lunatic. It's nice to know that someone else dug it and loathed it the same way i do.
 
I like Bukowski because as a reject of society, he wouldn't turn out as good for nothing. Unlike mentally ill wrecks, trapped in dead ends, waiting for the last day he would rather turn his lifestyle into art. Most probably he wouldn't give a f**k about judge or jury. Stepped right into the c**p and turned it into gold for him to own and us to share.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Because he never, ever bores me. He can type incoherent, sloppy drunk, and it's still interesting. Every letter, every story, every poem is alive. I've never wasted a second of my life reading something by Bukowski that I wished I could have not read. I don't want any of those seconds back.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top