Charles Bukowski | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 41 pages of analysis & critique of Charles Bukowski.
This section contains 12,138 words
(approx. 41 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Russell Harrison

SOURCE: "Sex, Women, and Irony," from Against the American Dream: Essays on Charles Bukowski, Black Sparrow Press, 1994, pp. 183-215.

In the following essay, Harrison challenges the common view of Bukowski as a chauvinist and misogynist. He illustrates his point with several selections from Post Office, Factotem, and Women, in which Bukowski ironically deconstructs the macho male image.

"Why can't you be decent to people?" she asked.

"Fear," I said.

No aspect of Bukowski's writing has been more sharply criticized than his portrayal of women. In response to his early work, one critic [Len Fulton] wrote (hyperbolically but with some justification):

Bukowski's antics with women, his thoughts about them, are one vast and sniggering cliché. He has nothing to tell us about them because, I'm convinced, he knows nothing about them (e.g., "the ladies will always be the same.") and is determined at this point not to learn...

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This section contains 12,138 words
(approx. 41 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Russell Harrison
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Critical Essay by Russell Harrison from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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