Bukowski’s WOMEN: A Reading Into Madness And Sanity

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 I am shocked to realize that my professors had left out this writer from the literary canon for his sheer quality of expressing madness- an attribute which is profused in each and every of their cells but which they have had been trying to hide every second of their life.

Bukowski’s alter ego, Chinaski, is a character which in Jack Kerouac’s word is “mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, […] who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candle exploding like spider across the stars.”

Chinaski is mad for those who stick to societal and cultural conventions and there by fail to live their life loud. Our lives are full of complexities and of them the most difficult is living by a relationship. Entering a relationship, as given by human nature to remain close, is easy. But as Chinaski, puts it “People are interesting at first. Then later, slowly but surely, all the flaws and madness would manifest themselves”.

He is sane enough to know how mad are people in relationship or in living their life. Elaborating on his fear of getting into the madness of doing & undoing efforts that are destined to end in sadness, Chinaski never settles down with a woman, in the worldly sense of the word, though he has it in mind time and again.

Love is an intricate part of human relationship. A relationship without love seems to be staled out for people but Chinaski has an insanely simplistic way of understanding it. “Love is all right for those who can handle the psychic overload.” But, Chinaski was never ready to carry that “garbage can on <his> back over a rushing river of piss.”

And yes his view here came from his personal experience that are so common to every human being. Love, Sex and Separation. Some times I like to ponder when I hear love-birds asking each other- whats the point of our relationship?

There is no point in anything. Point is always a supposition. And that supposition here is love – the desire and feeling to be near that being.

Like everything in nature, feelings are also transient and prone to dust, wind and rust. They transform. They fade. They die. And so does everything.

Aware of these simple facts and conditions in which human love evolves, prospers and dies, Bukowski resorts to denial. He denies to be part of that society which has the tendency to kill everything that a natural heart would love to cherish here on earth.

The character is constantly in search of that love which he knows will fade away with the intricacies of societal & cultural behavior. He wants it in its purity. Everything pure or eternal has no conditions. But it needs hard work and determination. And Chinaski’s ambition to that end seems to be handicapped by his laziness.

The resultant is his sex drive, which he ironically credits God for providing with. Its not God, but his natural ability to express human feelings in human ways that wins him all that he ironically tags as “God gifted”.

There is nothing that God gifts you. Its you who earns all that. And Buckowski certainly has the nack to deny the existence of the god just like the mad Neitzsche did when he declared HIS death. He is ironical of the God that watches over him every time he writes, drinks, pukes, or fucks.

Neitzsche is dead and so is Bukowski. But Neitzsche’s superman and Bukowski’s Henry live to these day and will live till human race lives. They were their own gods, who denied to accept the GOD’s convention and thus consequently were termed as mad by HIS followers. He Lives in the pages of his books and in the enaction of his characters, every time some one tries to perceive and inculcate them, provides new life to the thoughts. The thought to rebellion and the thought to be mad.

Chinaski or his alter ego- Bukowski, is nothing but the reflection of me. You. Them.

All Mad, Sensual, Hopeful, Fearful, Human & Nothing Else.

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