It’s Charles Bukowski‘s birthday, and he’s having a blast.
Shakespeare Never Did This
True, Will never got so drunk on live TV as to be snobbed off set by a clique of Frenchies (there was no live TV then). He also didn’t blow up a small fortune at the Dusseldorf racetracks, or whatever else Bukowski did during his crazy 1978 Eurotrip.
(Loose French-to-English translation of the TV host’s rant: “Looks like this American writer can’t hold his liquor after all!”, and later, “He brought his own bottles!”)
Rejected by women, employers, army leaders and publishers, Bukowski’s fictional alter ego Henry Chianski seeks solace at the local bar. “If you’re going to be anything,” shared the author in an 1987 interview with Barbet Schroeder, “be an alcoholic.”
Bukowski’s 1978 novel sees Chianski through a series of dissatisfying relationships. Its author, freshly single after his break-up with Linda King, used it as an excuse to do some first-hand “research”: bed-hopping his way through LA, he seduced a variety of women until “Cupcakes” broke his heart.
Love is a Dog From Hell
In his 1977 gem, the author delves into the heartbreak that ruined his once happy notions of love. And if you think “morning fog” might be a kinder metaphor for Cupid than “a dog from hell,” just watch the video above.
This article originally appeared on Zola Books.