Charles Bukowski, Outsider Literature, and the Beat Movement
Routledge – 2013 – 214 pages
This book uses cultural and psycho-social analysis to examine the beat writer Charles Bukowski and his literature, focusing on representations of the anti-hero rebel and outsider. Clements considers the complexities, ambiguities, and contradictions represented by the author and his work, exploring Bukowski’s visceral writing of the cultural ordinary and everyday self-narrative. The study considers Bukowski’s apolitical, gendered, and working-class stance to understand how the writer represents reality and is represented with regards to counter-cultural literature. In addition, Clements provides a broader socio-cultural focus that evaluates counterculture in relation to the American beat movement and mythology, highlighting the male cool anti-hero. The cultural practices and discourses utilized to situate Bukowski include the individual and society, outsiderdom, cult celebrity, fan embodiment, and disneyfication, providing a greater understanding of the beat generation and counterculture literature.
1. introduction 2. life as art – art as life 3. the writing 4. bukowski and beat mythology 5. the outsider 6. fan identification 7. celebrity culture 8. disneyland
Paul Clements is Lecturer and Senior Tutor at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK.