Alienated Man too clever for Modern Life

Benny B

Well-known member
Ask the dust, hunger, bukowski you'll have read probably. That's what I think of as notes from the underground's legacy (which I haven't actually read, ha! Or steppenwolf, so I might be in the wrong track)

Fante is well worth reading if you haven't, better than Bukowski, and ask the dust probably isn't even his best, but I loved it at the time. I don't really read novels anymore though so what do I know?
 

luka

Well-known member
I've read it all, love all of it. Fat bourgeois slugs will never understand us
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Actually one of the esoteric circles I traffic through just unearthed this treasure called Prediction Tablet, which I suspect would capture the quintessence of this genre.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
This is also a genre Charlie Kaufman would fall under. I just rewatched Adaptation.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I've read it all, love all of it. Fat bourgeois slugs will never understand us
I believe that I have read all of the ones mentioned by this point in the thread and I think every one of them I enjoyed... maybe the lowest mark being a six or seven and the highest being nine or so. So going by that small amount of evidence, this is indeed a promising looking genre in terms of quality control, so far no real fucking stinkers have been unearthed. That said though, come to think of it, Bukowski does kinda piss me off, and although all his books are the same, in fact literally identical down to the very word, some of them are quite bad, while at other times he just nails it.

If you're not in the mood... no fuck that, it's nothing to do with your mood, I'm letting him off too easily there, it's down to him. Some versions of his book are clear-eyed, no bullshit views of the minutiae of drinking a fifth of whiskey and failing to get an erection or surgical eviscerations of the pointless futility of a life which revolves around the most mundane jobs - but sometimes his book suddenly transforms into something which is itself a pointless and futile exercise in that very boredom.

I want to put that better - sometimes (for example when he called it Factotum) he skilfully captures the boredom of a job - and of course, by extension, his life as well - and once he safely has it trapped he toys with it in front of you for your amusement or enjoyment or understanding or something, but sometimes (eg when he named it Post Office) he grabs hold of the boredom more crudely and not so safely and due to this carelessness the boredom is not properly contained and in my case it actually infected me. I was annoyed about that. Cos you read a book to get away from boredom and yet, cos of his carelessness (most likely cunt was drunk) he gave me a huge dose of it that took me ages to shake off.

In fact I can remember that, it must have been one of the worst cases of boredom that I have ever come down with. I remember I was in my girlfriend's flat in Nottingham at the time and her flatmate was so boring. She hated tasting stuff and I remember a long conversation about onions on pizza and how she said that she was happy to put onions on pizza but as long as you cooked them first for ages and ages before you put them on the pizza to ensure that there was no chance that anybody eating the pizza could taste the onions in any way. And I remember thinking that that is such a boring thing to do, and talking about it is even more boring - I wasn't even gonna eat the pizza, it was nothing to do with me - and she had a boring voice. I was trapped by triple boredom and too bored to move and escape. It was terrible. I don't know if I can blame Bukowski for that - I mean, she hadn't read it or anything but it was in the house, so at least part of me does, I think the boredom escaped from the book and infected us and trapped us, cos she went on to be relatively interesting later, so something HAD in fact made her more boring at that point. It must have been the book right? With hindsight it's the only explanation. Mystery solved that's good to know... um... I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, sorry guys I think I've totally lost it. Why am I even writing this down it's gibberish?
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
Let me start again. There is some evidence that this genre is good



But I think that that claim is way too strong. Gimme a sec and I will think of a bad one.
I dont like henry miller, if he counts. Bukowski too but his inclusion feels cheap
 

luka

Well-known member
I dont like henry miller, if he counts. Bukowski too but his inclusion feels cheap
i hate miller but he is more interested in telling you how much more virile he is than you, not how much more clever. and bukowski is likewise not all that interested in telling you he is aliencated by dint of superior intelligence/sensibility.... at least as far as i can remember
 

woops

is not like other people
Luke asked me about this 2 days ago and I recommended Henri Barbusse - Hell. If you know this book your bad
 

luka

Well-known member
its true. edmund recommended every french novel ever written. i also asked jim who summarised the genre as
'the sickly gout ridden nihilist outsider who is actually having a really great time hating everybody but eventually
succumbs to madness and is consumed'
 
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