Tuesday, June 29, 2010

All You Really Need to Know

1. His writing is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work.

2. During his youth, he was socially inept and withdrawn--a condition later exacerbated by an extreme case of acne.

3. He had an epiphany when he was introduced to alcohol.

4. He viewed alcoholism as a method by which he might come to more amicable terms with his life.

5. Failing to break into the literary world, he grew disillusioned with the publication process and ramped up his drinking markedly.

6. The "lost years" which followed formed the basis for all his later autobiographical chronicles.

7. He agreed to marry a smalltown Texas poet, sight unseen, but they divorced two years later.

8. She insisted that their separation had nothing to do with literature.

9. She often doubted his skill as a poet.

10. He launched a mimeographed literary magazine with a friend. The magazine had no effect whatsoever.

11. With increasing notoriety and growing fame, he embarked on a series of love affairs and one-night stands.

12. His one girlfriend later wrote a book about him entitled Blowing My Hero.

13. He died shortly after completing his last novel.

14. His gravestone reads "Don't Try."

15. After his death, there was a movement to preserve his bungalow.

16. His fans worried this could jeopardize his outsider status.

17. He disliked having Bono over to the house.


  1. I was referred to Bukowski by a friend in High School who wrote his name down on a Ross Perot brochure. I still have it somewhere. I do prefer his prose over his poetry though.

  2. Hi Rachel.

    I actually like Bukowski's writing, both the poetry (well certainly a decent number of those poems) and his prose.

    But he's a bad critic of anything that doesn't reflect his own very circumscribed aesthetic (but he's smart enough to be very funny while doing that usually).

    I think it's weird that the Wiki article on him seems to have been largely authored by people somewhere in the U.K.--you can tell by the spelling.

    I just like having fun with those Wiki articles on poets.

    That's where all those lines are found and barely manipulated at all really.