Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, and the Computer

Clearly, the computer re-energized Bukowski and gave him new life as a
writer. Yet much of Bukowski’s late writing was about old age and
death. The computer fit into this. In poems, letters, and in The Captain,
Bukowski chronicled his struggles with the computer. The shutdowns, the
lost poems, the time at the shop for repairs. This mirrored Bukowski’s
own health problems and trips to the hospital. The computer represented
the writer in old age. The computer and the digital revolution also
suggest the end of the book and of print. As a result, the computer
spelled the death of the traditional author, a fact that must have
struck Bukowski as he faced death himself. Yet all was not doom and
gloom as the computer (old age and death) also provides the material
and means for new poems. So the computer also represents the old
writer’s creative impulse. Jed Birmingham, Reality Studio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *