Henry Charles Bukowski (August 16,1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German born, American poet, novelist and short story writer, best known for his depictions of life in poor social and economic classes. A known alcoholic, Bukowski wrote about life in his home city of Los Angeles, to such degree that in 1986, Time magazine would call him the Laureate of American Lowlife.
A prolific writer, Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six full length novels, eventually publishing over 60 books. He also wrote a column in LA Underground newspaper Open City called Notes of a Dirty Old Man. The column was so contentious the FBI kept a file on the author.
Today we’ve collated the quotes we think reflect the man Bukowski was, and the dirty realism he immortalised in his writing.
‘Find what you love and let it kill you.’
‘We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.’
‘I don’t know about other people, but when I wake up in the morning and put my shoes on, I think, Jesus Christ, now what?’
‘Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.’
“Do you hate people?”
“I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.”
‘Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.’
‘Without literature, life is hell.’
‘What matters most is how well you walk through the fire’
‘You have to die a few times before you can really live.’
‘But the problem is that bad writers tend to have the self-confidence, while the good ones tend to have self-doubt.’
That famous quote from one of Wilde’s best know plays, “A Woman of No Importance”, is just one you can hear in a brand new series of his works that are being performed at London’s Vaudeville Theatre. Read More
Emily was a very bright young woman, and studied hard, but was plagued by morose thoughts of death. After a close friend died of typhus, Emily’s troubling thoughts of death deepened commenting a couple of years later: “it seemed to me I should die too if I could not be permitted to watch over her or even look at her face.”
As a young woman, Emily dove into poetry, reading Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson, finding influence in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and work by William Shakespeare.
From Gwendolyn Brooks, to Ernest Hemingway, to Shel Silverstein.
Chicago is known for producing notable writers and has now become home to the American Writer’s Museum, which opened in May this year. Read More