Charles Bukowski: Contribution as American Poet

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      Henry Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), was a son of a American soldier and a German woman. He grew up on Los Angles, worked mainly in unskilled jobs, and only began to write when he was thirty-five. He shared a number of impulses with Henry Miller: a distrust of art and the artistic establishment, a commitment to living his own life outside the norms of American society, a related commitment to recordings that commitment in forms that hovered between the fictive and the autobiographical. But Bukowski as he was and how he perceived himself—in, say, the fictive persona of Henry Chinaski - was much more than thought, lowbrow outsider, hard living and hard drinking, floating causally through the world of sex and violence in short, a drifter rather than, like Miller, a seeker Bukowsaki produced his first book of poems: Flower, Fish and Bestial Wail (1960). Like most of his work it was published in small press and reached out to the underground audience. It was followed by more than chirty poetic collections, ending with The Last Night of Earth, Poems, in 1992.

      Bukowski's stories appeared in several collections, such as Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and general Tales of Ordinary Madness (1972), as well as in the little magazines. The novels like, Notes of a Dirty Old man (1969), Post Office (1971), Women (1978) and Ham on Rye (1982) turned his life on the seedy edge of things into hardboiled narratives that combine the eye of the camera with its disposition for empirical detail, with the inner eye of a fabulist, alert to the nightmares of the streets. There are no large gestures ion his work. Using an off-hand, free-flowing line or sentence and a casual idiom he simply records things as they pass cryptic, sardonic way. What passes before him is the other American: life among the underclass, the dropouts, the dispossessed who cast a shadow over the national dream of success.

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