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.
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.
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
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.)