The thing about reading Bukowski for me is the ability to find voice. You can’t write like someone else or try to emulate some kind of style all on your own. You just have to be yourself and write what you know. After that, it’s just up to the world around you to get it and digest what you’ve put out there. I can’t believe how he went through those years at the Post Office – all of that torture that they put that man, and all of the men and women there through. He turned out to be the angel with a megaphone for the rest of the world. The key, I think, and the reason so many people enjoy literature, is that they are able to look into the lives of others. Into the lives of people they have never looked at before.
For me, every time I see a postal employee, I see deep into their lives because of Bukowski. If everyone had a story told about them like that, and we all read each other’s stories, perhaps the world would have an understanding of each other that just doesn’t seem to be there anymore. Perhaps Milan Kundera was wrong when he said “When the writer in every individual is realized, we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding.” It might be the opposite.