Birthdays and New Years celebrations aren't overrated

Why Charles Bukowski is grossly overrated

With Charles Bukowski it is basically the same as with all the filth, filth and excrement that keep appearing in his stories: They are always welcome in German literature, but rather unpopular in your own living room.

Ever since the “Stern” dedicated an eight-page portrait to him in 1974, the name Bukowski in Germany has stood for everything that was not to be had in German rubble literature. Bukowski was apolitical, self-centered and vulgar.

But when he appeared in person in Germany because a reading was due in Hamburg, the hoteliers had a lot of trouble with the scolding man, who stumbled through their stairwells and retired to the bathroom at night to scream for a while.

Poetry and Morals

In the collective memory of the Germans, Charles Bukowski stands right next to Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac to this day.

The Californian author trades as an active participant in an aesthetic revolution that not only affected poetry in the sixties and seventies, but also customs. At the front of a culture war in which hippies and dropouts rose against a conservative, Christian Nixon America.

Superficially, all of this also applies to Bukowski: his fans read him as a prophet of another America, in which individualism, productivity pride and the pursuit of happiness have long since been stranded in alcoholism, isolation and anonymous gainful employment.

No consequences

Charles Bukowski, who was born Heinrich Karl Bukowski in 1920 in Andernach in the Rhineland, worked as a postman and sorter for the US Postal Service for eleven years and wrote his first novel about it, "The Man with the Leather Bag", which is considered a classic of underground literature, although it is only about a drunk postal worker who fails out of listlessness in every area of ​​his life, but still lives in the knowledge that he does not have to fear any serious consequences. White Americans in the 1970s did not know existential fears.

The stories that made this writer