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Old 08-19-2014   #1
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Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

"Did you ever see that flattened cat on the freeway as you drove by at 70 m.p.h.? That's us, baby. And I scream to the skies that there should be no way, no word, no limit. Just a roll of the dice, the tilting of the dark white light and the ability to laugh, a few times, at what has trapped us like this."

- Charles Bukowski
source: http://unix.cc.wmich.edu/~cooneys/po...k.letters.html

"The failed magician waves his wand, and in an instant the laughter is gone." - Martin Gore
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Old 08-20-2014   #2
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

You don't say. Each time I've listened to "Only The Truly Lost" by Bukowski I've thought of Thomas Ligotti. "As the orchid dies without a hospital and the grass goes insane/let's say one for the lost."

But as a whole, and the way things play out on the page, Ligotti is the better writer.

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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Old 08-22-2014   #3
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

This documentary is fascinating, if Bukowski is your cup of tea. Bukowski: Born Into This -- The Definitive Documentary on the Hard-Living American Poet (2003) | Open Culture

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. ~Charles C. Finn
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Old 08-22-2014   #4
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

Saw that years ago. Bukwoski is unfairly lauded by feminists.

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
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Old 08-22-2014   #5
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

are you sure that he is unfairly lionized by feminists? well, lawdy lawdy
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Old 01-24-2016   #6
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

To me Bukowski is a derelict house of stained, yellow walls and piled up dishes in the sink, of wilted flowers and broken showers. It's ugly, but there's something beautiful and tragic in it.

Ligotti is like a ruined hospital where the mad doctor will imprison you with nightmares, and if beauty exists...it's there to push you further into madness.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 01-24-2016   #7
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

Quote Originally Posted by ToALonelyPeace View Post
To me Bukowski is a derelict house of stained, yellow walls and piled up dishes in the sink, of wilted flowers and broken showers. It's ugly, but there's something beautiful and tragic in it.

Beautifully put. Earlier today I came across the following poem in Robert Bly's anthology, The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart:


"The Secret" by Charles Bukowski

don't worry, nobody has the
beautiful lady, not really, and
nobody has the strange and
hidden power, nobody is
exceptional or wonderful or
magic, they only seem to be.
it's all a trick, an in, a con,
don't buy it, don't believe it.
the world is packed with
billions of people whose lives
and deaths are useless and
when one of these jumps up
and the light of history shines
upon them, forget it, it's not
what it seems, it's just
another act to fool the fools
again.

there are no strong men, there
are no beautiful women.
at least, you can die knowing
this
and you will have
the only possible
victory.

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
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Old 01-24-2016   #8
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

Thanks Bleak&Icy, I haven't read that poem before.

Ultimately, Bukowski still believes in a victory. There's a love for life's ugliness.
That's why I don't read much of his novels.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 01-24-2016   #9
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

I just finished The Continual Condition and thought many of the poems could be considered anti-natalist, or at least bleakly pessimistic. I've transcribed one of them below; it probably isn't the best illustration. It is interesting to note how much more "poem-like" Bukowski's poetry is when he is articulating the darker side of things.

you've seen it on the barstool next to you---

it is not honorable to sit here
staring at these walls

the horses made for a wasteful
afternoon
and I sit here
waiting

the wine isn't
working

but it's a bad Saturday night
for others too.

then my hand moves,
fills another glass.

this war
after all
is fought finally
to be lost.

this time
like the other times
other nights
other cities

waiting on
death.

Last edited by Murony_Pyre; 01-25-2016 at 02:44 AM..
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Old 02-24-2016   #10
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Re: Bukowski sometimes reminds me of Ligotti.

I honestly didn't make this connection until I read the comic "Zero." Then felt lame I didn't make the connection sooner.
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