A Look at Charles Bukowski Through His Quotes

By March 9, 2017Authors, Quotations

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.’

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