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20 of the best Charles Bukowski quotes

“You have to die a few times before you can really live.”

Charles Bukowski was a prolific American Author, poet, novelist and story writer born on the 16th of August 1920. Bukowski, whose life was largely influenced by the cultural, social and economic character of Los Angeles published his first work when he was 23.

The piece, titled “Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip” was a short story published in the Story magazine while his other works primarily addresses lifestyle, alcohol, women, relationships and the art of writing itself.

We've collected 20 of the best Charles Bukowski quotes below.

“Do you hate people?” “I don’t hate them… I just feel better when they’re not around.”

Bukowski died on March 9, 1994 and over the course of his 73 years alive, he published over 60 books and penned thousands of poems, six novels and hundreds of short stories. Factotum, Post office, Women and Pulp are few of his most popular titles. So epic were his works and words that a large collection of notable quotes can be drawn from his lifestyle.

Here are 20 of the best Charles Bukowski quotes:

  1. “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”
  1. “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” 
  1. “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
  1. “If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose.”
  1. “Find what you love and let it kill you.”
  1. “A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover.”
  1. “People with no morals often considered themselves freer, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or love.”
  1. “It’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well.”
  1. “Never get out of bed before noon.”
  1. “The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship, you don’t have to waste your time voting.”
  1. “The male, for all his bravado and exploration, is the loyal one, the one who generally feels love. The female is skilled at betrayal and torture and damnation.”
  1. Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”
  1. “We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
  1. “Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them.”
  1. You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”
  1. “Life’s as kind as you let it be.”
  1. “The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable.”
  1. “I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again.”
  1. “Bad taste creates many more millionaires than good taste.”
  1. “Unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it.”

If you liked the quotes, make sure to take a look at our new collection inspired by the quotes by Charles Bukowski here.

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