April 12, 2010

Bukowski - Crude truths?

Is it ironic that Bukowski made such commentary on other persons? I don't know. But there are days when I am sympathetic to his indictments.

“There is a time to stop reading, there is a time to STOP trying to WRITE, there is a time to kick the whole bloated sensation of ART out on its whore-ass.”
"There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death. They don't honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can't hear it. Most people's deaths are a sham. There's nothing left to die."
The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship, 1998

“Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually clean kitchen, and 8 times out of 9 I'll show you a man with detestable spiritual qualities.”


Sam said...

An insincere, misogynistic, drug-dependent poetaster, worshipped by the same people who think Burroughs and Kerouac were geniuses who told it like it is. Fuck Bukowski. Just my opinion.

Harry Tournemille said...

And such an insightful one at that.

But after all the name-calling has subsided and your angry heart has mellowed...you can't deny a certain clarity to some of the things he says (and conversely, a certain "lack" in other things).

And isn't it par for the course when a person dislikes a certain author or poet or musician, they cheapen them to a convenient slag.

I've heard some similar nasty things said about Hemingway.

Not that I would agree with them either.

Sam said...

Well, I'm sorry to lower the level of discourse on your site. But no, I don't have to acknowledge a certain clarity in the things he says. That bloated rambling middle quotation proves that.

"Cheapen them to a convenient slag?" As in, "Dumb fuckers. They swallow God without thinking. Their brains are stuffed with cotton." That kind of convenient slag?

People can say what they want about Hemingway, but he worked his ass off. He set his sights on writing great novels, and yes he reached a point where his ambition eclipsed his technique, but he went out swinging for the fences.

Bukowski never ventured far from "I grabbed a chick and brought her back to my squalid apartment and degraded her." He found something that would be seen as "edgy," got comfortable there and is celebrated for that.

Anyway, it's a pleasure to argue with you.

Harry Tournemille said...

*chuckle* yes, precisely, that kind of slag.

You make good points, though I don't think the middle quote rambles nearly as much as you say. It is a gross generalization, though.

For me, while Bukowski doesn't sit at the top of my all time great writers list (not sure who does, actually) he does represent a glimpse into the bare-bones seedy bar life I am far removed from. It's ugly and cheap and detestable. And that fascinates me.

The pleasure is mine, of course.