Friday, 22 January 2010

Charles Bukowski: Women

So the obsession continues. I read another novel by Charles Bukowski. The book starts by proclaiming that as a fifty year old, the narrator had not been laid in four years. What then follows is a parade of graphic descriptions of various encounters with women.

There is lots of humour contained within this. The absurdity of a fat ugly old man pulling women thirty years younger is highly entertaining. What it does do, however, is question the relationship between men and various women. It also focuses upon the priorities that these women hold when conducting their lives.

Bukowski is too much of an artist to come up with a generalized answer but something has changed since he became a named author.

Some women seem to be attracted to his reputation as a womanizer. Others like his unpredictability and are bored by the standards of the in-crowd. Others still, who do not know of his reputation, are discovered to be prostitutes plying their trade.

As the work comes to an end, boredom starts to fester. Some very telling comments are then made. He says that men like lots of women as a compensation for being unable to find the one good woman. He also tries to discuss his predicament with various women who he has slept with- but with utter failure. When he says that he did not understand what love was because of his upbringing, his intimate friends fly away, unable to connect on an emotional level.

There is a promise at the end of the novel that he might have found the one good woman; a women who held out and did not sleep with him straight away. He cannot be sure. He refuses the advances of a nineteen year old who 'wants to discuss her writing' - but he knows that he has only been successful this once.

The novel ends with a stray cat moving in. Animals, he maintains, know intuitively who the good guys are.

No comments:

Post a Comment