The Ephemerality of Love in Charles Bukowski’s Love is a Dog from Hell
Charles Bukowski was born in 1920 in Germany. He moved to the states when he was two years old. Bukowski dealt with an abusive father and a distant mother as a child. He was also bullied by others and rejected by girls because of blood poisoning he got as a child that left his face scarred. Bukowski’s father had a large influence on his life and his writing, saying that “the disgust he made me feel for life never left” (“Charles Bukowski”). Bukowski dropped out of Los Angeles City College and moved to New York to write. He dealt with so much rejection that he gave up and went on a decade long binge where he ended up close to death back in Los Angeles. He started writing again along with binge drinking. He began his professional writing career at the age of 35 and became famous after Barbet Schroeder produced a film called Barfly about his life in 1987. Love is a Dog from Hell is a collection of Bukowski’s works from 1974-1977. He writes in very real, unobstructed prose. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything; the poems are vitriolic, almost barbaric at times and his themes are about his idea of love, need for intimacy and the ultimate inevitability of loneliness. He writes about love so much because he craves it, I believe. Even in his misogynistic tone, there was a hopeless romantic. “Quiet Clean Girls in Gingham Dresses”, “Alone with Everybody”, and “The Crunch” are three poems that put on display his desire for love, his opinions on life and ideas of love. Bukowski writes much like Henry Miller, the two share so many similarities it’s like two aspects of a single entity. The two men write taking an almost sadistic, misanthropic, misogynistic tone to it. Both alienate themselves from others, while still maintaining few friendships. They are very masculine and honest in their writings. Both using themes of loneliness and depravity, they preferred sensuality and sexuality over intellectualism....
Cited: Bukowski, Charles. Love is a Dog from Hell. New York City: HarperCollins, 1977.
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"Charles Bukowski." Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Ed. Chadwyck-Healey. ProQuest Information and Learning Company, 2002. Web. 20 Oct. 2013
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