I don’t have any problem with people’s life choices. Whether you’re a CEO or the average Joe, personally I don’t care that much. But when someone comes and tries to sell you their sad and pathetic life put neatly between two covers and call the character Henry Chinaski, you might have a problem. And this is why Bukowski might be one of the names in the least favorite authors’ top.
Though he might not tickle your taste buds, I believe he is to be given credit for doing a lot of things and having the most severe case of I-don’t-give-a-hoot-ism that I’ve ever seen. In his case, it’s incurable. He was the kind of person that would treat every single job he had as a piece of junk. He changed them all the time and don’t think that there were any big management position. No. He had some lousy jobs and some even lousier jobs: cab driver, delivery boy and of course let’s not forget about his failed author career. Or is it?
Photo from stefanofiorucci
Many times you heard appraisals of Factotum and Women, which probably are his most famous books. Curiosity was the one that urged you to finally get acquainted with the works of this author.
Unfortunately, 2 books later you notice you were wasting your time. His life isn’t as fascinating as one would expected to be. Low life jobs and a constant conveyor belt on which women came and went is not exactly the best way to spend your time. Especially when without good time management, you can’t actually survive nowadays.
Simplistic words and casual constructions are probably the best words to describe his works. Nothing to intricate, nothing to think about. Or is there? Personally, I can’t wrap my head around his disregard for the women he was with. Their personality or lifestyle was his least concern. As was his job, whichever he was involved in. Each day was not very different from the other: wake up, write, smoke, drink, do a damsel and that pretty much wrapped it up.
A thing to notice is his misogynism which is hard to stomach. Though you may not hold a grudge on Oscar Wilde, who was also a misoginyst, you will probably do that with Bukowski. It’s either that or you will love him. There is no middle path with the perverted memoirs of this author.
Featured photo from Carl Mikoy on Flickr