RE : RARA-AVIS: Re: Bukowski

From: E. Borgers (
Date: 06 Jan 2007

You took my statement exactly at the opposite of its meaning.
  I underlined "he was a real author", just because of the qualities of his writings that are real. I underlined this because his life could lead to think it was the only alibi for a certain appraisal among critics and readers.
  Your kind of demo was pure tautology.

Kevin Burton Smith <> a 飲it :
   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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