Finished Women by Charles Bukowski, a hilarious romp about women, sex, drugs and alcohol, written in the first person by Bukowski’s semi-autobiographical character, Henry Chinaski.
On ego & ‘greatness’ Chinaski reflects: “There is a problem with writers. If what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. If what the writer wrote never was published and he didn’t have the money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great. The truth, however, was that there was very little greatness. It was almost nonexistent, invisible. But you could be sure that the worst writers had the most confidence, the least self-doubt. Anyway, writers were to be avoided, and I tried to avoid them, but it was almost impossible. They hoped for some sort of brotherhood, some kind of togetherness. None of it had anything to do with writing, none of it helped at the typewriter.”
Chinaski on the subject of alcohol: “That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
To a woman he explains his work:
“I write fiction.”
“Fiction is an improvement on life.”
“You mean you lie?” asked Gertrude.
“A little. Not too much.”
2nd September. Was interviewed by TV3 which is making a two-part documentary on the history of Sinn Féin. Attended the funeral in Bellaghy of Seamus Heaney.
1st September. Speaking at a commemoration in Loughmacrory on the 25th anniversary of the SAS killings of IRA Volunteers Gerard and Martin Harte and Brian Mullin.
30th August. Learnt of the sad death of Seamus Heaney.
29th August. Interviewed by Connal Parr, a PhD student who is on the board of the Et Cetera theatre group. Talked about creative writing Vs polemical writing.