Charles Bukowski – the ‘laureate of American lowlife’ – remains a divisive figure more than 20 years after his death.
His belligerent and blackly comic novels – stories and poems cast an unsparing eye over the American underbelly and his hard-drinking persona marked him as an ultimate ‘outlaw’ writer.
He has been variously denounced as a Nazi sympathiser – an antisemite and a misogynist – a roughneck writer unworthy of serious critical attention.
‘This book is the raw true genuine Bukowski’ Debritto has said.
‘There’s the tender Bukowski – the obscene dirty old man Bukowski – the Bukowski that looks up to other writers – the Bukowski that is in love with women’.
Bukowski expounded his poetic modus – and his view of much modern poetry – in a number of earthy declarations.
Poetry he said ‘is a fake product.
It’s been fake and dead and inbred for centuries.
It’s over -delicate.
It’s over precious.
It’s a con …
There’s nothing holy about it.
It’s a job – like mopping a bar floor’.