RARA-AVIS: Re: Bukowski

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 06 Jan 2007

Ettienne wrote:

> As you may know, Bukowski is an atypical writer.
> His life is probably something hard-boiled by itself, but his
> refusal of a normal life and the rest of his personality is really
> a voluntarily "anti-establishment" statement. Add to this a
> lifelong alcoholism.
> In my book, the guy is sincere. Maybe not for everyone's taste,
> but sincere with himself and with his readers.
> And… he's a real author. No doubt about it.

What's a "real" author? And is being an alcoholic (or refusing to lead a normal life) necessarily hard-boiled? Or just shit-faced, vomit-drenched self-indulgence?

If he had written the very same books, but have lived a "normal" life
(whatever that is), would he have been any less a writer?

I mean, how romantic and literary is it, really, to drink yourself unconscious and crap in your own pants? Shouldn't the value of what's on the page depend on what's actually on the page, rather than how it got there?

(I'm not trying to slag Bukowski per se here, but I've never really bowed down to this People Magazine-style evaluation of art)


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 Jan 2007 EST