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Life lived by Buk

Mr. Bukowski and a friend Charles Bukowski was born the 16 of August 1920 in the German town of Andernach. His father was an American soldier and his mother was German. At about the age of three young Charles was brought to the States. For the next fifty years he mostly lived in Los Angeles. The childhood is described in the novel Factotum, especially his relation to the father. But that was later on in his writing career.
He first started as a poet in his twenties and kept on writing poems for some years. Then came ten years of working at the Post Office (and man, do I know what that means) which according to the novel with the same name was a time of obeying orders and drinking to make it through the day. After ten years of intellectual stalemate he finally quit in 1971 and, so the story goes, wrote Post Office in three weeks. Now he was a writer.
His novels are, through the alter ego Henry Chinaski, auto-biographical. His childhood, the Post Office work, his women, his daughter, his hemorrhaging experience that almost caused him his death, all are in his novels. That is not to say that every word he has written is true, but the framework was made up of his own life and was broidered out by the author's mind.
With Henry Chinaski you meet the lost souls of America, the down-and-outs that look at society from down below, those people that are treated like pariah and that carry with them the stinking smell of death. Henry Chinaski presents the side of American life, or maybe it is universal, that some of us pretend doesn't exist. Therefore, you have the choice of ignoring him or listening to him. I guess that is why Charles Bukowski, by some, is categorized underground, anarchist, beat poet or whatever, anything but a recognized writer. But he told stories about a world that is real, even today, and if you ignore him you ignore a part of your own world. Charles Bukowski died in San Pedro 9 of March 1994.


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