Sunday, April 15, 2007

Legendary Sober Novelists for $200, Alex


If you're looking for a movie that will spoil all the joys of drinking, try Factotum. We viewed this little slice of seamy life this weekend. Nicely acted by Matt Dillon, and the director succeeded in keeping it cohesive - cohesively depressing.

If you're not familiar, this movie is based on the life and stories of Charles Bukowski. He was highly prolific, tons of stories, poems and novels. (You might recall another film for which he wrote the screenplay, Barfly.) I haven't read any of his work, but you only have to glance at one of his pages to see he had a powerful and direct style. I admire that. But it saddens me to think that only the whisky sodden can write tight prose. Is there no severability of talent with words and talent with the bottle?

Today's challenge: name three great sober writers.

This portrayal of a small part of Bukowski's life did not inspire me. It seemed most of his misery was self-inflcited. And in some ways the film glorified an "honorable bum" stereotype. It's almost enough to give boozing a bad name.

3 comments:

Scott said...

I have not seen Factotum, but have seen Barfly seven or eight times. I have read about five books of Bukowski's poetry and another titled 'Women' which is a wonderful story about an ugly drunk poet who has sex with lots of women who think his poetry is amazing.

You're aware of the fact that Bukowski spent much time in the North Bay and the now-defunct Black Sparrow Publishing was in Santa Rosa?

I also enjoy reading Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud and Jim Morrison.

Yes, I think they were all drunks too...so what's your point?

"Another round for all my friends!"

your daughter said...

C.S. Lewis, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rainer Maria Rilke.

BAM.

Barry Martin said...

I see one person who followed the instructions and named 3 sober writers, and one person who did NOT follow the instructions and named other inebriated writers. This may reveal that one person has a clear head, and another person has a (perpetual)hangover?