Once upon a time, I was reading a book, a collection of short stories. I didn’t know who the author was, but the title and the cover looked promising. In the first short story, a little girl says, “I like you Bukowski. Tell me a story!”
“Well, all right. Jump here on my legs. So… There is this little girl. Alone. In a forest. With an old man…”
The mother comes over, “Bukowski!!! Hands off of my daughter, you pervert!”
All the other stories are about this author who pretends that he is constantly writing in his smoky apartment. The protagonist turns out to be a drunken womanizer, involved in the most terribly sordid love affairs with fat women, middle-aged hags and young prostitutes. This lazy guy, who find himself in the midst of all these crazy adventures, gambles on horse races and spends his money as fast as he can drink it. It soon becomes hard to believe that the “unknown” writer, Henry Chanaski, protagonist of all the stories, is anyone other than Bukowski himself.
So you’re probably wondering what’s so interesting about this guy? Well, it’s amazing how his brilliant short stories are capable of teaching the fundamental truths of everyday life through the tales of the scum of the earth.
I know that I’m a little bit late with this, but nevertheless I am pleased to present as the 6th TES Artist of the Week, American poet, novelist, and short story writer, Charles Bukowski! As an active writer during the second part of the twentieth century, Bukowski was particularly famous for his satirical poetry and his peculiar style of short stories. He rose to international fame quickly and nowadays is considered a pillar of postmodern literature. Sad as it is to say of an author of his caliber, however, he was never able to achieve the same level of recognition in his own country, most likely a result of working for underground magazines. It should also be mentioned that he was especially critical of the lingering influences of Puritanism in American society.
He has always been a great inspiration for us, here at Tales of Extraordinary Sanity, who are trying to achieve a fraction of what he did during his lifetime. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you, Charles Bukowski!
- Simone la Cuercha
Ed. If you would like to read some of Charles Bukowski’s writings, look here.