Literature

Charles Bukowski and the Habit of Art

Charles Bukowski (1920–94) was an alcoholic, a womaniser and a foul-mouthed brawler. He was nihilistic, mocking and scornful; he sold sadistic, offensive stories to pornographic magazines. He was an unreliable employee, preferring to visit the racetrack where he could gamble and drink. He was also a prolific poet, an exact memoirist, an hilarious novelist and a strangely humble, discomfortingly honest man. No other writer challenges my hopes, my values, my faith and my fears in the same unnerving way. When I read Bukowski, particularly his poems, I feel that he lived life abundantly and that I’m robbing myself of life…

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