| Share
 

Charles Bukowski

Bukowski, Charles, 1920–94, American underground poet and fiction writer, b. Andernach, Germany. His family immigrated to the United States in 1922, settling in Los Angeles. A hard-drinking unskilled worker and sometime denizen of skid row, Bukowski published his first short stories in the 1940s and earliest book of poetry in 1959. Ferociously bleak in their portrayal of life in general and Los Angeles in particular, his usually self-referential, often angry poetry and prose typically depicts alcoholics, drug addicts, criminals, prostitutes, and other outcasts. During the 1960s he became an outsider hero, lauded by Sartre, Genet, and other literary celebrities. Many of Bukowski's "dirty realist" works feature as protagonist his alter ego, the womanizing tough-guy Henry Chinaski; they include the novels Post Office (1971) and Ham on Rye (1982). He wrote more than 40 volumes of poetry (some published posthumously), six novels, and several short-story collections as well as the screenplay for the semiautobiographical film Barfly (1987).

See his The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951–1993 (2007); his selected letters (3 vol., 1993–99); D. Weitzmann, Drinking with Bukowski: Recollections of the Poet Laureate of Skid Row (2000); biographies by N. Cherkovski (rev. ed. 1997), H. Sounes (1999), M. G. Baughan (2004), and B. Miles (2006); studies by H. Fox (1968), J. Sherman (1982), R. Harrison (1994), G. Locklin (1995), J. J. Smith, ed. (1995), G. Brewer and F. Day, ed. (1997), J. Christy (1997), J. Thomas (1997), and B. Pleasants (2004); bibliography by A. Krumhansi (1999).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Charles Bukowski from Infoplease:

  • Charles Bukowski - Biography of Charles Bukowski, The guy who wrote the movie Barfly
  • Bukowski: Born into This - Starring Charles Bukowski, Bono, John Bryan, Linda Lee Bukowski, Marina Bukowski
  • Factotum - Starring Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Fisher Stevens, Didier Flamand
  • August 16 Birthdays: Menachem Begin - August 16 birthdays: Menachem Begin, Charles Bukowski, Frank Gifford, Madonna, Angela Bassett, James Cameron, George Meany, Suzanne Farrell
  • Romance & Cigarettes - Starring James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring