Sunday, August 30, 2009


Another great book by Bukowski. This is a lot like Post Office, in that it is a novel created by stringing together lots of small, connected stories. The thing that resonates for me about his work, and these stories in particular, is that no matter how bad his life gets (no money, no friends, injuries, crabs, etc.) he never panics, he never despairs. Somehow, his incredibly simple life, his freedom, and his constant living in the moment makes him seem as happy, or happier than someone well-off with a pack of middle-class worries. I found these stories incredibly comforting -- they help make clear that most of my problems are a bunch of made-up nonsense. There is something in his style and his delivery that gives him a voice unlike any other I've ever read. His writing is simple, his point of view is detached, and he seems well aware of the irony of his situation -- he is intelligent enough to be aware of the causes of his problems, but is completely unable to do anything about them.

PS -- I had to look up "factotum." I assumed it was "a sum of the facts" or something like that, but it's not. It means "a person who does a lot of different jobs." It's a very unusual word, because it is an archaic term that has retained its meaning, but is now only used as a joke.

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