"erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions And General Tales Of Ordinary Madness"
"Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary
Madness" is a collection of Charles Bukowski's short stories, published
The range of subjects is quite wide, but the themes are for the
most part recurrent. Almost all of the stories have some L.A.
connection, like so much of Bukowski's work. The outcast is a
traditional hero of Bukowski's, as indeed the character reflects back
onto himself. Bukowski always sensed himself to be different from other
people, and this was made only easier by his hideously acne-scarred
face and rampant alcoholism. His main characters are likewise generally
misanthropic, alcoholic and as often stated, "dirty".
All of the short stories collected here are solid, well-written
pieces. Much of Bukowski's work has failed to garner much critical
support due to its down and out view of life and subject matter, though
that is changing with time. The stories themselves range from the
general sexcapades and vignettes of daily life on skid row to absurdist
science fiction. Even so, they all are composed of Bukowski's famous
trimmed down, anti-poetic language.
Particular stand-outs include "The Most Beautiful Woman In Town"
and "The Fuck Machine". "The Most Beautiful Woman In Town" details the
writer's involvement with a ravishing girl who cannot accept her own
beauty. It drives her to such extremes as to try to destroy it, she
drives pins in her skin and cuts herself repeatedly, and it eventually
leads to suicide. The effect this has on the main character is
eloquently elaborated but in strikingly a raw manner, at which Bukowski
"The Fuck Machine" is a short story about a German scientist, Von
Brashlitz, who escapes Nazi Germany with a "fuck machine" of his own
making. Things begin to complicate as the machine falls in love with
the main character and murders another man. The machine is torn apart
in front of the narrator's eyes and he breaks down and cries. A few
months later the narrator sees an ad in a magazine for an inflatable
rubber doll, but it doesn't compare to the original. The narrator
throws it away and tries to forget the entire situation.