chapter  3
25 Pages

the writing

How Charles Bukowski stories himself is explored, a merging of fact and fi ction within a self-narrative style which confl ates his actual life with fi ctional alter ego Henry Chinaski. This is an interpretive and imaginative phenomenon rather than biographical or historical fact, a construct of the ‘cultural ordinary’ which refers to popular culture, modernist and proletarian literature. His idiosyncratic use of personal narrative is examined using critical, psychological, sociological and wider cultural analysis. Specifi c examples from a short story, poem and novel are analyzed highlighting his direct approach, economy of language, use of dialogue and storytelling craft. His writing technique is explored with particular focus on how he centred his stories on the individual antihero using exaggeration and metonymy which is humorous, tragic and everyday. There is something about his harsh grotesque realism which is without resolution or salvation, very diff erent from sentimental or revered portrayals of the working class. This asks questions of ideological representations which are examined.