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View Full Version : Do you think those who love C. Bukowski romans are sad sacks?


TheCrow
02-18-2013, 07:42 PM
If so, why?

Whenever some people see me reading C. Bukowski or see that I have somehow something related to him (be it a book, quote or a poster of him or picture of him), they begin asking me things like what my problem is, why I feel sad etc. -- even when I literally have no problem and I don't feel sad at all.

Some babble on and on and on how C. Bukowski fans are sad sacks and losers. In fact, I can give a lot of people around me as opposite examples. They are educated, outgoing and economically above the average.

I don't know what is particularly wrong with reading his books. I think his books kind of disagree with their life style and perception of life, so they talk badly about him and his books. And by doing that, they feel better about their own lives and get their self-importance. I don't know.

black rabbit
02-18-2013, 07:46 PM
I did my most voracious Bukowski reading between the ages of 16 and 21. As I got older, it slowly began to dawn on me that he didn't really have anything all that profound to say.

In other words, he's like Ayn Rand, but for drunks.

black rabbit
02-18-2013, 07:54 PM
See also: Lester Bangs, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Jim Goad, Joy Division, and Sid and Nancy.

TheCrow
02-18-2013, 07:55 PM
I did my most voracious Bukowski reading between the ages of 16 and 21. As I got older, it slowly began to dawn on me that he didn't really have anything all that profound to say.

I suggest getting into science if want something profound. I don't think a novel can be profound in any possible manner.

In other words, he's like Ayn Rand, but for drunks.

Are you saying only drunk people read Bukowski? :D

Nzinga, Seated
02-18-2013, 08:38 PM
Love him. The simplicity of his poetry is the lightning that many poets never bottle. Plus, I'm a sucker for that "dirty realness."

pulykamell
02-18-2013, 08:53 PM
Nah. The people I know who love Bukowski tend to actually be fairly well-adjusted people. They may have non-mainstream tastes in the arts, but they're not "sad sacks" by any stretch. I tend to enjoy him, as well (and I love Joy Division), and I consider myself a generally upbeat and happy-go-lucky kind of guy. It's kind of fun reading from different perspectives, and I've always found it more interesting to read from perspectives quite different than you own.

Snerky Snerk
02-18-2013, 10:03 PM
When I was younger, I would carry around a copy of 'Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame.' hoping to impress or attract the womenfolk. It never worked. Looking back, I think I may have been a sad sack.
*sob*

Siam Sam
02-18-2013, 10:03 PM
Popping in to say I love reading Bukowski.

Enuma Elish
02-18-2013, 11:34 PM
There are people who can perceive beauty in even the most mundane and pointless acts.
There are people who can see the light of grace in the darkest lives.
There are people who can find redemption in the most desperate of souls.
There are people who understand that there is poetry even in failure.





And then there are people who post endless pictures of kittens on facebook.

Wesley Clark
02-19-2013, 12:10 AM
I like him and find him profound and authentic in kind of a nihilistic or (in a way) cynical fashion. I don't think his fans are pathetic, but I do get the impression that a lot of them can relate to dissatisfaction with life.

http://hellopoetry.com/poem/how-is-your-heart/

to awaken in a cheap room
in a strange city and
pull up the shade-
this was the craziest kind of
contentment

and to walk across the floor
to an old dresser with a
cracked mirror-
see myself, ugly,
grinning at it all.
what matters most is
how well you
walk through the
fire.

Peanuthead
02-19-2013, 01:19 AM
My favorite Bukowski quote:

“It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?”
—Charles Bukowski, Factotum, Black Sparrow Press, 1975

foolsguinea
02-19-2013, 01:34 AM
I really liked the movie Factotum, where Matt Dillon played a sort of ersatz Bukowski.

"All that a man has is his time."

I guess ambitious people might think Bukowski was mentally deficient somehow.

guizot
02-19-2013, 02:41 AM
Whenever some people see me reading C. Bukowski or see that I have somehow something related to him (be it a book, quote or a poster of him or picture of him), they begin asking me things like what my problem is, why I feel sad etc. How many people have actually asked you this? I mean, honestly? And how old were they?

FrankJBN
02-19-2013, 11:45 AM
"I don't think a novel can be profound in any possible manner."

You should read more.

teela brown
02-20-2013, 12:02 PM
I know a person who has consciously used Bukowski's philosophies as a life template. Or at least as an excuse to be an underemployed, misanthropic alcoholic.

I'm ambitious, but I don't think Bukowski is mentally deficient. I think he's an excellent writer, but I just plain dislike him when I see people who live the Bukowski life.

Beware of Doug
02-20-2013, 12:10 PM
There are people who can perceive beauty in even the most mundane and pointless acts.
There are people who can see the light of grace in the darkest lives.
There are people who can find redemption in the most desperate of souls.
There are people who understand that there is poetry even in failure.





And then there are people who post endless pictures of kittens on facebook.There are also, it should be said, people who can't find beauty, grace or redemption anywhere but the most sordid contexts, perhaps because they need to embrace the dark, or feel tough, or just slip under cover of a fashionable cynicism before they're ready to open up.

Try2B Comprehensive
02-21-2013, 01:30 AM
I like Bukowski. Some of it I find sick, but that going-over-the-edge lends perspective to the rest, so I guess that is part of the art. I leave it to the reader to decide if I am well-adjusted or not.

I have gotten a lot of laughs out of his work. I don't know if I would call it 'profound', but I think there is more meaning in his rebellion against what most people consider 'beauty' than everyone will notice. It isn't going to buttress anyone's philosophy of suburban middle-class living, unless in an ironic way. At the very very least, his characters are believable and sometimes amusing drunks.

Ludovic
02-21-2013, 07:04 AM
Never read anything by Bukowski but I do own Good News for People Who Love Bad News by Modest Mouse which has a song called Bukowski on it. While I may or may not be a sad sack, I do think the writer for the 'Mouse is (in a constantly-sad way, not in a losery way.)

Siam Sam
02-21-2013, 07:56 AM
Okay, someone has to post it: If Charles Bukowski wrote Peanuts (http://archives.progressiveboink.com/archive/peanuts-by-charles-bukowski/)

gallows fodder
02-21-2013, 08:01 AM
His poetry is better than his prose, IMO, and still holds up no matter how old or what stage in your life you are.

pulykamell
02-21-2013, 10:11 AM
His poetry is better than his prose, IMO, and still holds up no matter how old or what stage in your life you are.

I pretty much agree. I think the shorter the form, the better it works for him. While "Post Office" is the first work of his that I read, I think his style suffers a bit in long form. I do like his short stories, though, so I think he can pull off prose--I'm just not a fan of the novels. The poems are the best form for him, though.

Mosier
02-21-2013, 10:17 AM
I suggest getting into science if want something profound. I don't think a novel can be profound in any possible manner.


If you're a hammer, every problem starts to look kind of like a nail.

jack tardiff
02-21-2013, 09:30 PM
I'm ambitious, but I don't think Bukowski is mentally deficient. I think he's an excellent writer, but I just plain dislike him when I see people who live the Bukowski life.

You sound like one ex girlfriend -- we were watching one of the movies about "him" (the one with the protag wearing the jockey shorts with the design of a pistol over the junk) and her last comment was "It's sad."

FTR his poetry consist of trifles. Factotum is the only book he wrote, IMHO. I think his cult status is probably not as alive now that the Gen-X pseudo revival is getting older, fatter, and having jobs as spreadsheet "experts," like me. See also the passing-on of Jim Knipfel and the Tony Millionaire's relevance.

China Guy
02-21-2013, 10:24 PM
Women is probably the best novel ever to read as a guy after a bad breakup. I remember reading Women on the Tokyo subway for the second time and almost pissing myself laughing .

Ham and Rye - talk about a fucked up childhood.

I don't like poetry in general and don't like Hank's either.

Nope, don't get the sad sack meme.

TheCrow
02-23-2013, 02:36 PM
How many people have actually asked you this? I mean, honestly? And how old were they?

More than 10 people. And most of them were older than 25.

WillFarnaby
02-23-2013, 03:11 PM
I've read and enjoyed a great deal of his writing when I was younger. I like reading interesting characters and his characters were just that. He was funny as hell, too. Humor and sad sackery don't go together for me.

HotDogWater
02-23-2013, 04:59 PM
Okay, someone has to post it: If Charles Bukowski wrote Peanuts

Thank you, that's freakin awesome.

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