Charles Bukowski

The prolific writer, claimed by a friend to be the most filthy man she's read. I agree.

I had never heard of Charles Bukowski, even though every article I seem to read about him speaks of him as being a prolific American writer. I didn't remember Charles Bukowski, even though I had seen a book titled, "Notes of a dirty old man" in my colleagues collection, a title which had inspired me to giggle and laugh. So when a friend said I had to read Charles Bukowski, because he was an utterly honest and filthy man, I was intrigued.

I first read Post Office, which was his first novel, followed by Pulp, which was his last. They were quite different, though the major themes and the soul (of the writer?) were still the same. I can see why they call him prolific. I know now why she called him filthy. The books are unapologetic about things society would never take at face value or say in normal conversations. And yet he speaks of them with a "so what?" sense.

The books messed with my mind, I confess. For several times, I found myself wondering what Bukowski would say about this in his own filthy way. I struggle to come up with a word to describe him. And yet, there's a crude quality to his work that is refreshing amongst the polished fake-gemstones one comes across on the newstands.