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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Charles Bukowski's Autobiographical Fiction

Bukowski claimed the majority of what he wrote was literally what happened in his life. Essentially that is what his books are all about--an honest representation of himself and his experiences at the bottom of American society. He even went so far as to put a figure on it: ninety-three percent of his work was autobiography, he said, and the remaining seven percent was "improved upon." Yet while he could be extraordinarily honest as a writer, a close examination of the facts of Bukowski's life leads one to question whether, to make himself more picaresque for the reader, he didn't "improve upon" a great deal more of his life story than he said.

Howard Sounes, Charles Bukowski: Locked In The Arms Of A Crazy Life, 1998

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