Charles Bukowski

Author of Ham on Rye and 40+ Books

Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski

2816 Quotes

A German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer, Henry Charles Bukowski (born as Heinrich Karl Bukowski). His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic atmosphere of his hometown of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on poor Americans' ordinary lives, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, and... finally published more than 60 books. Charles Bukowski was the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. He came to the U.S. with his family at the age of three and grew up in Los Angeles. From 1939 to 1941, he attended Los Angeles City College, then left school and moved to become a writer in New York City. At this time, his lack of publishing success caused him to give up writing in 1946 and spurred a ten-year heavy drinking stint. He decided to take up writing again after he had developed a bleeding ulcer. He worked a wide range of jobs to support his writing, including dishwasher, truck driver and loader, mail carrier, guard, station attendant, stock boy, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, post office clerk, parking attendant, Red Cross orderly, and elevator operator. He also worked in a dog biscuit factory, a slaughterhouse, a cake and cookie factory, and hung posters on New York City subways. When he was twenty-four, Bukowski published his first story and started writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first poetry book was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five poetry and prose books, including Pulp (1994), Screams from the Balcony (1993), and The Last Night of Earth Poems (1992).READ MORE

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Popular quotes by Charles Bukowski

and love was lightning and remembrance

I'm too careless. I don't put out enough effort. I'm tired.

some moments are nice, some are
nicer, some are even worth
writing
about.

startling! such determination in the
dull and uninspired
and the copyists.
they never lose the fierce gratitude
for their uneventfulness,
nor do they forget to laugh
at the wit of slugs;
as a study in diluted senses
they'd make any pharaoh
cough up his beans;
in music they prefer the monotony of
dripping faucets;
in love and sex they prefer each other
and therefore compound the
problem;
the energy with which they propel their
uselessness
(without any self-doubt)
toward worthless goals
is as magnificent as
cow shit.
they produce novels, children, death,
freeways, cities, wars, wealth, poverty, politicians
and total areas of grandiose waste;
it's as if the whole world is wrapped in dirty
bandages.

it's best to take walks late at
night.
it's best to do your business only on
Mondays and
Tuesdays.

it's best to sit in a small room
with the shades down
and
wait.

the strongest men are the fewest
and the strongest women die alone
too.

I guess I´m too used to sitting in a small room and making
words do a few things. I see enough of humanity at the
racetracks, the supermarkets, gas stations, freeways, cafes,
etc. This can´t be helped. But I feel like kicking myself in
the ass when I go to gatherings, even if the drinks are free.
It never works for me. I´ve got enough clay to play with.
People empty me. I have to get away to refill. I´m what´s best
for me, sitting here slouched, smoking a beedie and watching
this creen flash the words. Seldom do you meet a rare or
interesting person. It´s more than galling, it´s a fucking
constant shock. It´s making a god-damned grouch out of me.
Anybody can be a god-damned grouch and most are. Help!

Any damn fool can beg up some kind of job; it takes a wise man to make it without working.

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