Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading November 22, 2011 - 2:53am

I am indeed not a fan. He represents most of the things I oppose in my reading. I find his poetry rushed, clumsy and, as in the example above, full of writerly self-mythologizing. His fiction strikes me as a weird mix of juvenile and "wise" in a phoney, forced, avuncular sense.

I'm pretty sure the myth of Bukowski is the only thing that tricks people into reading him at all.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 22, 2011 - 5:17am

Uncle Bukowski lol

Dave Hanson's picture
Dave Hanson from Connecticut is reading Incredibly pulpy fantasy and sci-fi November 22, 2011 - 6:53am

Without turning this into a Bukowski Versus the World Thread... I will say I did enjoy reading "Pleasures of the Damned" although I did not make it to anything else. He also speaks to my life experience more than, say, Yeats or Hemmingway. 

@Phil... yes, the Myth definitely tricked me. But I didn't feel cheated by it. 

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters November 22, 2011 - 7:11am

Ugh.  I'm on Team Phil with this one.  " weird mix of juvenile and "wise" in a phoney, forced, avuncular sense."



Waterhouse's picture
Waterhouse from Columbus is reading Bullet Park, John Cheever November 22, 2011 - 7:23am

I do no think a story needs to be the Platonic ideal of orthography and grammar; however, anything that pulls the reader out of the story and calls attention to the writer or the writing as opposed to story being told is annoying, irritating and pretentious. The only person I have read who can pull off odd punctuation, for example, is Hubert Selby Jr., but he is sparing and consistent and it does not pull one of of the story.

Personally, I think misspelling words for the sake of adding texture to a character is an end run around actual characterization, it is a meta-method of showing rather than a textual based telling. I remember one of my writing teachers in college a long, long time ago saying that "avant garde" is actually French for "quickly forgotten."

But hey, we all can write how we like, and if we find a publisher great. The question is, will we find an audience?

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 22, 2011 - 7:24am

Meh. I disliked Bukowski for quite a few years, I think I might've actually thrown away Factotum, the only other time I've done that is with Raymond Carver's Cathedral which pissed me off a lot. Now I like Bukowski, love Carver. I like the juvenile.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig November 23, 2011 - 11:14pm

Renfield disliked Bukowski before it was cool.

Should not have read the hipster thread before reading this one...

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. November 24, 2011 - 12:36pm

The Bukowski poem that made me a fan, from "You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense"


starving in a Philadelphia winter

trying to be a writer

I wrote and wrote and drank and drank and


and then stopped writing and concentrated on

the drinking.

It was another

If you can't have any luck with one thing you
try another.

of course, I had been practicing on the
since the age of

and there was much competition
in that field

it was a world full of drunks and writers and
drunk writers.

and so
I became a starving drunk instead of a starving

the best thing was the instant
and I soon became the biggest and
best drunk in the neighborhood and
maybe the whole

it sure as hell beat sitting around waiting for
those rejection slips from The New Yorker and The
Atlantic Monthly.

of course, I never really considered quitting the
writing game, I just wanted to give it a
ten year rest
figuring if I got famous too early
I wouldn't have anything left for the stretch run
like I have now, thank

with the drinking still thrown

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 25, 2011 - 12:11pm

Good. Now I don't feel so self-conscious or hopeless about being an alcoholic.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig November 27, 2011 - 12:30am

Ah yes, glamourizing the self destructive disease of addiction! Inspiring! Beautiful!

Wait...those aren't the words I was looking for.

At least the Bukowski portion of this thread isn't dripping with the irony of a bunch of really pretentious posts from people discussing how pretensious other authors are...wakka wakka.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading November 27, 2011 - 1:57am


I can't be sure who your post was addressed to, but I'll assume it's either me or aliensoul77, and further, I'll assume it's me so that I can write this response.

I'm not sure what to say to the simplistic explanation of how a dialectic works, so I'll move on from that to the main point:

Don't be passive-aggresive. It's not needed.

As for the rest of your post about grammar, I agree.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 27, 2011 - 11:10am

I have been passive aggressive in the past, but I personally did not think that was an occassion where I was, I was just trying to say that this is not an "either or" choice, these absolutes exist so that you can take elements from both to get a better option.

If it did seem passive agressive I apologize, I still feel bad about the first bit on the thanksgiving spirit thread. I've been extremely frustrated on a number of levels lately and while I know that has caused me to be passive agressive here and in other places, I did not realize that this thread was one of those occassions.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. November 28, 2011 - 3:47am

I thought you were fine but whatever.  I'm not passive aggressive, I say fuck anybody who doesn't agree with me because I know it all.  BLAH!  jk

birdkiller's picture
birdkiller August 29, 2014 - 12:34pm

If you like to hear yourself talk you will come off as pretentious in your writing .. Laurel hermanson .... Even the paper its writin on wouldn't start a fire ... BK

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami August 29, 2014 - 1:28pm

Write alone in your room all you want. The biggest thing is just submitting the word so you can have another set of eyes on it. Even if that's an in person writers group.

And yes I have no shame ignoring random advice from nobodies on twitter. Most of the time you have no idea if they are even writers. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't.

madsmaddox's picture
madsmaddox from Berkshire is reading Fated August 30, 2014 - 1:18am

Perception is a funny thing but fresh eyes can help with development and growth, and also sometimes annoy the hell out of you. Good luck with finding that balance.