Charles Bukowski quotes
Birthdate: 16. August 1920
Date of death: 9. March 1994
Other names: Henry Charles Bukowski
Henry Charles Bukowski was a German-American poet, novelist, and short story writer.
His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambiance of his home city of Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor
Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column Notes of a Dirty Old Man in the LA underground newspaper Open City.Bukowski published extensively in small literary magazines and with small presses beginning in the early 1940s and continuing on through the early 1990s. As noted by one reviewer, "Bukowski continued to be, thanks to his antics and deliberate clownish performances, the king of the underground and the epitome of the littles in the ensuing decades, stressing his loyalty to those small press editors who had first championed his work and consolidating his presence in new ventures such as the New York Quarterly, Chiron Review, or Slipstream." Some of these works include his Poems Written Before Jumping Out of an 8 Story Window, published by his friend and fellow poet Charles Potts, and better known works such as Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame. These poems and stories were later republished by John Martin's Black Sparrow Press as collected volumes of his work.
In 1986 Time called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife". Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, "the secret of Bukowski's appeal ... [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero."Since his death in 1994, Bukowski has been the subject of a number of critical articles and books about both his life and writings, despite his work having received relatively little attention from academic critics in America during his lifetime. In contrast, Bukowski enjoyed extraordinary fame in Europe, especially in Germany, the place of his birth.
Quotes Charles Bukowski
Source: The People Look Like Flowers at Last
Source: The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966
„The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid one are full of confidence.“
Variant: The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
„Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are.“
Source: What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire
Variant: she’s mad, but she’s magic.
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„That's the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.“
Variant: I wasn't much of a petty thief. I wanted the whole world or nothing."
Source: Post Office (1971)
Context: They wouldn't fire me. Even the salesmen liked me. They were robbing the boss out the back door but I didn't say anything. That was their little game. It didn't interest me. I wasn't much of a petty thief. I wanted the whole world or nothing.
„There is always one woman to save you from another and as that woman saves you she makes ready to destroy.“
Source: Love Is a Dog from Hell
Variant: being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.
„For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stonewritten. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.“
"The Meaning of Life: The Big Picture", Life Magazine (December 1988)
„it's colder than hell (yes) but
the blankets are thin,
and the pulled-down shades
are as full of holes as love is.“
Source: The People Look Like Flowers at Last
„How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?“
Variant: We don't even ask happiness, just a little less pain.