I have started reading a biography of Charles Bukowski by Barry Miles. In the great tradition of reviews, I have decided to start writing about this book before I have even finished. I am eighty eight pages in and I am really impressed! In one respect, it charts a very unremarkable life. Though there are general themes that are of interest- physical abuse, father-son relationships, how migrant communities adapt and live in a new country, the second world war and American culture.
But there is something astonishing with this work. What is described is a man that emerges out of difficult circumstances and begins to learn to write with beautiful simplicity about his ordinary life. Moreover, it shows how such writing becomes the redemptive aspect of such an existence.
I must admit- I am hugely attracted to the idea of the underdog. I really love stories about people of determination who pull through and survive by focusing on a particular love in their life. Even when Bukowski was not writing- his life would all eventually feed into his passion.
I will probably write more about this man at a later stage when I have finished the biography and read some of the original works. But for now...I am really excited!