Interview with Charles Bukowski


I have a great respect for Charles Bukowski, the writer of many poems, short stories and novels. I have compiled this interview from many pages I found on the internet. I hope you will enjoy reading it...

You have the reputation of a woman chaser and a male chauvinist?

I’m not a great fucker. I don’t go around fucking women by the dozens. But when I started writing this novel called Women, I had to do some research.

I figured I had to meet more women. So I almost did it deliberately, I knocked on doors, I hopped into beds and I fucked when I didn't feel like fucking.

I’m not really a great fucker. I’m not too interested in that kind of thing. It’s kind of drab. It’s hard work.

The people that call me male chauvinist don’t know all my works, they've just heard rumors. If they had read the total body of my work they would know that I love women almost as much as I love myself. They are nice to have around.

You’ve been drinking constantly. Why all this drinking? 

Oh, drinking! Listen, I’ve been a poor working stiff all my life, no job or nothing. You know, when you don’t have any money at all, the women aren't going to bother you, so there’d be moments when you are just looking at four walls, you are wondering how to pay the rent or where your next meal is coming from.

When things are very very bad, a drink is the only magic cheap thing left to give you the dream, to make you feel good for a moment. Now that I am not poor anymore, things haven't changed, because the human race is no good.

In one of my poems I say: Humanity, you've never had it from the beginning. It’s just a feeling I have that everything is being wasted. It’s not life, it’s humanity that bothers me. The trees don’t bother me, the cats don’t bother me, the sun doesn't bother me. It’s humanity that has failed, that bothers me.

Humanity is going to go down the same dumb ignorant path forever. But I’ll get out of it because I’ll kick off and I will be out. This companionship I’m living with now, they don’t thrill me at all.

If humanity is hopeless what do you hope to accomplish with your writing? 

I’m not an accomplisher. I’m like a spider spinning my web. It’s all I can do. What we do we do out of a natural instinct. We don’t even know why we are doing it, if we did we couldn't do it.

Striving is destructive. I don’t believe in control, in studying, in learning. I just believe that what occurs occurs, and I go with it.

To sum it all up in two words, “don’t try,” for me that works. I still find a great deal of joy in spite of everything, I don’t know why, but often times I wake up in the morning and I feel damn good. It’s just a feeling inside.

Why don't you like people?

Who does like people? You show me him and I'll show you why I don't like people. Period. Meanwhile, I have got to have another beer.

Tough. Tough, indeed. I would say that Mickey Mouse had a greater influence on the American public than Shakespeare, Milton, Dante, Rabelais, Shostakovich, Lenin, and/or Van Gogh. Which say "What?" about the American public.

Disneyland remains the central attraction of Southern California, but the graveyard remains our reality.

So do we abandon ship or hope altogether?

Why these clich├ęs, platitudes? OK, well, I would say no. We do not abandon ship. I say, as corny as it may sound, through the strength and spirit and fire and dare and gamble of a few men in a few ways we can save the carcass of humanity from drowning.

No light goes out until it goes out. Let's fight as men, not rats. Period. No further addition.

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