, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 109–125

“Informationen für das tägliche überleben”: the Influence of Charles Bukowski on the poetry of Jörg Fauser

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11061-006-9023-y

Cite this article as:
Woolley, J. Neophilologus (2008) 92: 109. doi:10.1007/s11061-006-9023-y


In this article, I seek to give an impression of Charles Bukowski’s immense popularity in West Germany and of how his writing and the myths surrounding his life appealed to a wave of West German poets in the 1970s. I show that he had a particularly strong influence on the work of Jörg Fauser. While many left-wing poets were attracted by Bukowski’s demythologisation of the figure of the poet; his relaxed, conversational style; the dialectic of self and society found in his poems; and the potentially political quality of a naïve narrator, virtually none of them mimicked Bukowski’s male chauvinistic posturing. By contrast, Fauser, in Die Harry Gelb Story (1973), drew on precisely this male chauvinism, obscenity and coarseness in order to offer an alternative to what he saw as the well-meaning, overly optimistic literature predominating in West Germany. However, it was not until Trotzki, Goethe und das Glück (1979) that Fauser found a voice truly akin to Bukowski’s which allowed him to express a new sobriety after years of heroin addiction.


FauserBukowskiNeue Subjektivitätbeat generation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Germanic Studies, Arts TowerUniversity of SheffieldWestern BankUK