Place of Birth : Andernach, Germany
Died : March 9, 1994
Place of death : San Pedro, California
Charles Bukowski was born in Germany in 1920 and came with his family
to the United States when he was three years old. He grew up in
poverty in Los Angeles, drifted extensively, and for much of his life
made his home in.
Bukowski had been a writer since childhood, published his first story
at age twenty four, and began publishing poetry when he was
Bukowski is generally considered to be an honorary "beat writer," although he was never actually associated with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and the other bona fide beat writers. His style, which exhibits a strong sense of immediacy and a refusal to embrace standard formal structure, has earned him a place in the hearts of beat generation readers, and the contributors to the alt.books.beatgeneration newsgroup. He was a prolific (it isn't known how much he had written; much of it was sent off to publishers long-hand and never seen again), free-formed, humorous, and painfully honest writer. His topics included hang-overs, the shit stains on his underwear, classical music, horse-racing and whores. He was at home with the people of the streets, the skid row bums, the hustlers, the transient life style. His language is the poetry of the streets viewed from the honesty of a hang-over.
Most of Bukowski's work is based on his own experience. In Ham On Rye we follow his autobiographical character, Henry Chinaski through his childhood and early years.
In Factotum we again find Henry Chinaski, now in his most vinuous days, wandering from city to city, from job to job, from woman to woman. Bukowski became widely known after the release of the movie Barfly Factotum takes place. Bukowski wrote the screenplay and was somewhat involved in the production of this film which featured Mickey Rourke in the role of Chinaski/Bukowski. Barfly was produced by Francis Ford Coppola whose current project is alledgedly a film adaptation of On the Road.
Prior to the release of Barfly, Bukowski was best known by the
public at large, for his novel Post
Office. Although Barfly brought Hank to the masses in
a big way, Bukowski is primarily known in literary circles for his
poetry. He has stated that he does not consider himself a poet, but
simply a writer. "To say I'm a poet puts me in the company of
versifiers, neontasters, fools, clods, and skoundrels masquerading as
wise men." He has also made clear that he does not like "form" in
poetry, referring to it as "a paycheck for learning to turn the same
screw that has held things together." (This from sure, no. 3) If you
are not familiar with Bukowski's poetry, well, please judge for
There is a publication dedicated to Charles Bukowski called sure, which is erudite without being overly academic.
Charles Bukowski Pages by michael mccullough = [email protected]