Charles Bukowski’s quotes have always sparked controversy. This German writer and poet, who eventually became a citizen of the United States, kept raising his critical and sharp voice. He specialized in denouncing the contradictions, hypocrisy and insignificance of modern society.
Bukowski is considered one of the greatest exponents of dirty realism. This current aims to reflect the most decadent aspects of society in their work. It emerged, so to speak, in response to the disillusionment and insignificance that threatened to stifle culture after the horrors of World War II.
Charles Bukowski’s quotes combine denunciation with poetry. He spoke without any euphemisms of human selfishness, social cruelty and political hypocrisy. He didn’t believe in ideals any more than he did in utopias. On the contrary, he openly stated his pessimism and lack of faith in the future. Even so, his work is very moving – and here are some of the quotes that made him famous.
“Sometimes I look at my hands and realize that I could have been a great pianist or something. But what did my hands do instead? Throwing balls, signing checks, tying shoes, flushing toilets, etc. I’ve wasted my hands. And my mind. “
1. The intellectual and the artist
“An intellectual is one who explains a simple thing in a complicated way. An artist, on the other hand, is someone who expresses a complicated thing in a simple way. “
It is common to find a touch of humor in Charles Bukowski’s idioms. Here, for example, we are faced with a play on words that leads to a funny and at the same time sarcastic message, as they characterize him.
Anyone who compares the intellectual with the artist cannot avoid comparing reason with sensitivity. The latter stands for advanced skills and wisdom. It is, so to speak, a contrast between two languages, only one of which is used for communication.
2. One of Charles Bukowski’s quotes about society
“We shaped our society with our lack of spirit. It’s almost as if we didn’t deserve it any other way. “
This is another one of Charles Bukowski’s quotes that reflects his ideology. Bukowski, who is deeply critical of American society, has never failed to point out his mistakes and failures. Not even its major contradictions.
In this sentence he denounces the paradox that society was not formed by the actions of its members, but primarily by a lack of action. He does not exclude himself from this society. He also points out that this society provides itself the emptiness in which it has grown up.
3. The intelligent people
“The problem in the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid are the ones who have great confidence in themselves.”
This is one of the Charles Bukowski quotes that became very popular. In it he emphasizes the fact that authentic intelligence hinders security. Looking beyond the obvious also raises doubts about reality, its scope and its effects.
On the other hand , those who do not think or do not see, or do not think or do not want to see, adhere to seemingly absolute truths. These are certainties that you neither question nor test. So they are stupid and full of confidence at the same time.
4. Die to Live
“You have to die a few times before you can really live.”
This quote highlights the poetic and sensitive streak of the great poet Bukowski. It is one of the few sentences in which it allows a glimmer of hope. Although he starts this phrase with a succinct statement, he eventually adds an optimistic conclusion.
In this sentence he speaks of life as if it were something that would oppose linearity. One would be born several times and likewise one would die several times. In order to really know how to live properly, one must have completed this cycle several times.
Let us therefore end everything that makes up this world in order to be reborn. This is how we learn to live in this cycle.
5. What really matters
“What matters is how well you can walk through fire.”
This is another of the quotes from Charles Bukowski, in which he shows his didactic side and tenderness that rarely came out. “Fire” in this case refers to anything that damages, destroys or threatens the integrity of a person.
So walking through fire has to do with this ability to move forward amid the destructive forces that await everyone. In his opinion, this is the most important skill. To be able to pass through the flames without getting burned.
Charles Bukowski has left us with controversial and courageous work that is undoubtedly representative of a society where ideals are proving difficult to uphold. His quotes, his novels and his poems are the result of his calling, a stark and at the same time loving call for a better world.