Bukowski For Beginners
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Charles Bukowski, poet, novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and cult figure of the dissident and rebellious was born in Germany in 1920 and died in the USA in 1994. During his life he was hailed as "laureate of American lowlife" by Time magazine literary critic Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote: "The secret of Bukowski's appeal...(is that) he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the largerthan-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero."
Bukowski was one of the most unconventional writers and cultural critics of the 20th century. He lived an unorthodox, idiosyncratic life and wrote in a style that was unique--one that is impossible to classify or categorize. His work was at times cynical or humorous, but was always brilliant and challenging. His life and work are distinguished not only by a remarkable talent for words, but also by his rejection of the dominant social and cultural values of American society. Bukowski began writing at the age of forty and published forty-five books, six of them novels. He is also considered one of the great literary voices of Los Angeles.
In Bukowski For Beginners, playwright Carlos Polimeni evaluates the life and literary achievements of the cult writer whose voice of dissidence and discontent is still heard and appreciated by readers worldwide.
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joke. The account ends with Hank challenging his father to a duel, in which, according to him, he received a brutal punch, straight in the face. He ended up hiding under the bed, cursing his father. One might imagine that a terrible beating would ensue, but the writer preferred to leave the story open-ended. So, we see Hank in those days as a boy abused by an adult, resigned to the batterings of fate, but not inclined to expect any mercy. And he was prepared to fight back, if necessary. 2
first term as President, Hank was entering high school. However, his real studies would be conducted in his local public library. There, he read Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, William Saroyan, Carson McCullers and a little-known writer, John Fante. Those were the writers who most influenced Bukowski's early apprenticeship. Then, in a disordered way, he went on to dip into a host of other writers: ancient Chinese poets, Rabelais, Maupassant, Gorky, Turgenev, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dreiser, Ezra Pound,
mumbling to himself. The next day, he said he could remember nothing about what had happened, but he later wrote that he was irritated by the presence in the studio of a ‘shrink who had given the shock treatments’ to the French writer Antonin Artaud. When a security guard tried to calm him down on his way out, Hank pulled out a knife, but he was quickly subdued. Mean while, Pivot went on air to tell viewers that Bukowski's behaviour showed the decadence of American literature. Hank's behaviour
turned out to be a master stroke. In France, Pivot was seen as a star. But the media also wrote up Bukowski's performance as the most fitting attitude that a cultural agitator could adopt. Sales of his books rocketed in France. Critics dubbed him the last of the Beatniks, and this, naturally, infuriated Bukowski. 9 A Taste of Honey Then the Knife The radical difference was that those were in no sense golden years, but the very darkest. Everything that Henry Chinaski had been for readers of Post