Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kind of Obsessed with Charles Bukowski?

Yes, I think I might be obsessed with Charles Bukowski at the moment.

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I had never even heard of Bukowski before selecting his novel, Post Office, for the June Book Club.  After I made that selection, I started seeing people quote him and his work right and left and most of it is brilliant!

"Find what you love and let it kill you."

"Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art."

"You have my soul and I have your money."

In doing research for the June Book Club post,  I found myself watching YouTube video after YouTube video and I'm still going.  There is just something about this sad man that draws me in.  He's gritty (a phrase I've used many times on the subject of Bukowski) and raw and drunk and full of pessimism.  And magnetic.

I find him fascinating.  The fact that he became one of the pivotal voices of Los Angeles during the '70's is especially interesting to me.  "You live in a town all your life, and you get to know every street corner. You've got the layout of the whole land. You have a picture of where you are...Since I was raised in L.A., I've always had the geographical and spiritual feeling of being here. I've had time to learn this city. I can't see any other place than L.A."  He didn't try to pretty things up - he was blunt and rude and honest and I think that spoke to many people.  His honesty and lack of forced form drew people to poetry that would probably not have given it a second thought before.  And he did it all while drunk (or maybe hungover).  While most people would look at him and think he was not a serious writer, he was.  It's mind boggling how prolific he was - he penned six novels, hundreds of short stories, and thousands of poems!

All these things can be cited when one selects him as one of the 'Greatest drunks of all time'.  There are MANY YouTube videos about Bukowski, but I think this one is the best overview I've come across so far.

These clips show different sides of Bukowski and are all fascinating in their own right.  Enjoy!

"Where the black pimps are, where the whores are, where the music is playing...where the jukeboxes are playing in bars, where the lights are on...that's where life is."

"I do not like the human race.  I don't like their heads, I don't like their faces, I don't like their feet, I don't like their conversations, I don't like their hairdos, I don't like their automobiles, I don't like their dogs or their cats or their roses."

"He is devoted to the de-Disneyfication of all of us.  Someone has to kick the Mickey Mouse out of our heads!"
"This three fingered son of a bitch that has no soul for christ sake...Mickey Mouse doesn't have a fucking soul!"

As soon as I have two hours, I'm going to watch this documentary.

Or if I only have 45 minutes, I'll give this one a go.

So that's where I'm at currently, in my little obsession with Charles Bukowski.  Do any of you find him as fascinating as I do?

"She' mad but she' magic.  There' no lie in her fire."
This man is magic.

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