Charles Bukowski  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Henry Charles Bukowski (August 16, 1920March 9, 1994) was an influential Los Angeles poet and novelist. Bukowski's writing was heavily influenced by the geography and atmosphere of his home city of Los Angeles. He is often mentioned as an influence by contemporary authors, and his style is frequently imitated. A prolific author, Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short-stories, and six novels, eventually having more than fifty books in print.

Contents

Work

Bukowski published extensively in small literary magazines and with small presses beginning in the early 1940s and continuing on through the early 1990s, with the poems and stories being later republished by Black Sparrow Press (now HarperCollins/ECCO) as collected volumes of his work.

Bukowski acknowledged Anton Chekhov, James Thurber, Franz Kafka, Knut Hamsun, Ernest Hemingway, John Fante, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Robinson Jeffers, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, D. H. Lawrence, Antonin Artaud, E.E. Cummings and others as influences, and often spoke of Los Angeles as his favorite subject. In a 1974 interview he said, "You live in a town all your life, and you get to know every bitch on the street corner and half of them you have already messed around with. You've got the layout of the whole land. You have a picture of where you are. ... Since I was raised in L.A., I've always had the geographical and spiritual feeling of being here. I've had time to learn this city. I can't see any other place than L.A."

One critic has described Bukowski's fiction as a "detailed depiction of a certain taboo male fantasy: the uninhibited bachelor, slobby, anti-social, and utterly free", an image he tried to live up to with sometimes riotous public poetry readings and boorish party behaviour. Since his death in 1994, Bukowski has been the subject of a number of critical articles and books about both his life and writings. His work has received relatively little attention from academic critics. ECCO continues to release new collections of his poetry, culled from the thousands of works published in small literary magazines. According to ECCO, the 2007 release The People Look Like Flowers At Last will be his final posthumous release as now all his once-unpublished work has been published. Bukowski: Born Into This, a film documenting the author's life, was released in 2004.

In June 2006, Bukowski's literary archive was donated by his widow to the Huntington Library, in San Marino, CA. Copies of all editions of his work published by the Black Sparrow Press are held at Western Michigan University, which purchased the archive of the publishing house after its closure in 2003.

Works

Novels

Poetry

Short story collections

Nonfiction

Major Biographies

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Charles Bukowski" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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