Charles Bukowski Long Fiction Analysis
Most of Charles Bukowski’s writing examines his life as a drunk, drifter, gambler, loner, and unemployed and unemployable creature of habit. As noted in many documentaries, biographies, and accounts of Bukowski’s life, however, he also had a gentle side. As much as he wrote about booze, horse racing, failure, hesitation, and loss, he wrote twice as much about love, genuineness, literature, and music. The themes that Bukowski explored throughout his career remained consistent; in his own estimation, the artist’s goal is to explore the same themes eternally.
Bukowski—perhaps even more than writers J. D. Salinger and Ernest Hemingway—also was interested in exposing phoniness. Considering that Bukowski’s characters are often drunks (his alter ego and antihero Henry Chinaski), it could be difficult to believe that Bukowski was deeply concerned with bad manners. However, a close examination of his work reveals a writer who is obsessed with order, ritual, and kindness.
Though he is often associated with the writers of the Beat generation, Bukowski felt he was following in the footsteps of the writers and musicians he greatly admired, including Pound, Faulkner, Hemingway, Jeffers, Fante, Fyodor Dostoevski, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, and Gustav Mahler. Furthermore, his writing contains biting criticism of his contemporaries, including Beat writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.
(The entire section is 959 words.)
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