Bukowski Charles 1920 - 1976 (56)

I never met another man I would rather be. And even if that's a delusion, it's a lucky one.




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Henry Charles Bukowski was a marginal American poet and writer, who lived mainly in Los Angeles, America. He wrote more than 50 books. He was born in Anternach western Germany, on August 16, 1920. His German mother and his Polish-born American soldier father had met during the American occupation in Germany, at the end of the First World War. In 1922, the couple and little Charles emigrated to USA and settled in Los Angeles. His childhood and adolescence was marked by prejudice of Americans for the German origin of the deformation of his characteristics after a painful form of acne and mainly from the constant abuse from his father, a completely law-abiding, violent and narrow-minded person, often unemployed that burst on Charles, hitting him with puberty repeatedly to make him useful member of society. Charles objected, not only towards his father but the entire society, became a wandering vagabond, an outcast, a drunkard and a poet. During his school years, he read a lot, and when he finished high school, he enrolled in college in Los Angeles to study journalism and literature. He stopped his studies in a year and lived as a wandering homeless in Atlanta. Eventually he was forced to go back home, it would be repeated the incoming years, when there was nowhere else to go.

When America took an active part in the Second World War, his father urged him to join the army. He refused and left home again. In 1944 he was deemed unfit to serve his military service, he stayed in New York and tried to become a writer. At age 24, he published his first short story in the Story Magazine. New York did not enraptured him, he soon returned to Los Angeles and met his ten years older Janet Baker. She was an alcoholic like himself. Together they wandered for ten years throughout the country. Charles had forgotten writing and was doing odd jobs as truck driver, elevator’s operator, in a factory manufacturing dog food, anything to make money mainly for alcohol which is consumed in large quantities. The experiences gained from those wanderings served as material for his works later. In 1955 he was urged to the poor’s hospital bleeding with stomach ulcers and almost died. At the hospital was determined to be a poet.

In 1959 the editor of "The Outsider" magazine, began to publish his works, even devoted an entire issue to Bukowski titled "Outsider of the Year", finally he decided to publish a collection of poems in 200 copies.Bukowski started gaining reputation in underground magazines and newspapers, and began a column in the newspaper "Open City" in Los Angeles, called "Notes of a dirty old man”. Texts in this column issued later in a separate book. He married in 1957 Barbara Frye, the publisher of poetry journal “Harlequin”, she began to publish Bukowski’s works. Their marriage lasted two years. After the divorce, Bukowski returned to booze, and for earning his living took a job in the mail office. He stayed there for 12 years, until 1969, when the publisher of Black Sparrow Press, offered him $ 100 a month for the rest of his life, to deal only with his writing. Charles resigned at the age of 49 and devoted himself to writing. In less than a month, he wrote his first book, the "Post office", which was published in 1971.

Since then he wrote in a frenetic pace and acquire great reputation abroad, particularly in Germany, where until the late 70s, was the most successful American writer, also in other parts of Europe, but not in the U.S.A, where people did not accept him, except for a limited number of fanatical followers. Bukowski behaved constantly provocatively attracting criticism against him. He died of leukemia on March 9, 1994 on the side of having Linda on his side, an owner of a restaurant who had met in 1976 and had married in 1985.