“When you get the shit kicked out of you long enough and long enough and long enough, you have a tendency to say what you really mean. In other words, you have all the pretense beat out of you.”
“Everything that exists destroying itself, consuming itself and dying, each instant producing itself only in the annihilation of the preceding one, and itself existing only as mortally wounded.”
In the second chapter of the conversational piece entitled Dialogues, Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet discuss the conflicting aspects and approaches of French literature in comparison to Anglo-American literature. Within this critique they bring up several arguments as to why it is that French literature eventually succumbs to the revolutionizing and nomadic new weapon that is Anglo-American literature. Among these concerns, the most pressing are as follows: First, French literature is entirely too human and too historical, being more concerned with the past and the future instead of the present. Even with revolution it is a ‘future of the revolution.’ Second, in comparison to Anglo-American literature, French literature always begins from the perspective of tabula rasa, finding and working its way via roots to pinnacles and alphas to omegas, always arborescent. In contrast, English literature finds its zero in the middle, much in the same way that grass grows and promulgates. With grass there is no specific root by which to hone in on a foundational idea or identity. English literature finds itself on a path, or flight, of delirium. It goes off the rails in order to find itself bottlenecked or in an uncomfortable position, which in turn can lead to it finding and traversing what Deleuze refers to as lines of flight. Opposing the idea of tabula rasa, these lines have no beginning or end which are interesting because each of these are points. Therefore, these interruptions or breaks, according to Deleuze and Parnet, are what primarily positions Anglo-American literature against that of French literature in terms of becoming and also that of resisting dominant ideologies and theories.
To this end, when one attempts to expand upon the different approaches both Georges Bataille and Charles Bukowski present in terms of how they each deal with particular concepts that utilize a transvaluation of subjectivity, questions arise that call upon the necessity to illustrate the intersection between these authors. While it can be argued that there are multiple ways this intersection can be evoked, the critique and terminologies of Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet provide a suitable entry point with which to begin. By first analyzing an overview of Bataille’s major philosophical concepts, and then applying examples of Bukowski’s work, it will be seen as a result of comparing each of their individual methods and combining them where this leads the reader in regards to the spaces that open up that allow transformative re-conceptualizations of not only each author’s particular aspect of these terms but also the political implications, as well as methods of narration and subjectivity. Ending with remarks about how both Bataille and Bukowski’s work provide a competitive yet collaborating cross-pollination of ideas, it is intended to show that this can provide a radically different perspective on how one perceives each author’s particular literature and how they can possibly compliment each other.
To read Georges Bataille is, quite frankly, in a sense to suffer the very anguish that his philosophies describe. In an extreme effort to separate and disrupt his own literature from the classical themes of ethical and epistemological foundations, Bataille evokes concepts—within an already vast array of subject matter—such as base materialism, non-productive expenditure, excess and sovereignty. Yet before delving into these particular definitions it is first necessary to demonstrate how Bataille achieves this seemingly ungraspable methodology. Each of these primary modes of thought, which are steeped heavily in Nietzchean and Spinozan philosophy come to define Bataille only peripherally in terms of where one would begin to critically address his ideas. In short, the method in which he builds and presents his concepts are constructed so delicately in order to fall back down to the very essentialist perspective of a fluctuating and ever changing myth. Therefore to critique him from one perspective is to altogether overlook another perspective or analysis that he presents elsewhere.
A good example of the conceptual fragility in which Bataille’s philosophy dwells is in a particular defense of an essay he presented on Sin. Among others, Jean-Paul Sartre—who remained staunchly opposed to much of Bataille’s ideas throughout both of their careers—was present to press him on issues dealing with the idea of the morality of a summit and of a decline. After a considerable bit of interrogation Sartre comes to a rather inadvertent yet enlightening conclusion about Bataille’s argument. “That makes [your] position rather delicate.” To which his response is: “It makes the position perfectly weak, perfectly fragile. And it is exactly in this sense that I spoke from beginning to end. I spoke only of an untenable position.” Sartre goes on to point out that Bataille falls back on the fault of language in contrast of the proposition of his ideas resting heavily on concrete research. Yet what is important to note about this example is the way in which Bataille’s philosophy overall is, indeed, untenable. Moreover, it is necessary for him to maintain this absence of foundation and paradoxical logic in order to utilize his concepts effectively so that they come to represent the very dynamic activity of fluctuation that most of his work essentially rests upon. With this now firmly in mind, one can more readily approach the specific terms that I propose to use to demonstrate how Bataille epitomizes the claims that Deleuze and Parnet make. Firstly, it is necessary in some detail, to explain particular examples of Bataille’s thought in order to proceed to how they resonate within Bukowski’s work.
Beginning with base materialism, this influential theory attempts to bring into play the argument that base matter is in fact dynamic in the sense that it breaks apart conceptions of transcendent materialism and disrupts foundational methodologies. In the vein of Spinoza’s neutral monism, which describes substance as incorporating both elements of thought and material, it utilizes the rejection of canonized Cartesian themes. Thus, the realm of experience is expanded and becomes immanent by its defiance of rationalistic methodologies. By taking the Hegelian idea of dialectical materialism and essentially turning its history of metaphysical conceptions of dualism on its head, Bataille is able to argue that the conception of matter as an active principle and “having its own eternal autonomous existence” becomes possible only by recognizing the creative action necessary be revealed as an absence. Or, in other words, a materialism that does not imply an ontology that suggests that matter is the thing-in-itself. “Base matter is external and foreign to ideal human aspirations, and it refuses to allow itself to be reduced to the great ontological machines resulting from these aspirations.”
Moving us from here to non-productive expenditure, Bataille introduces the concept of a general economy. “If a part of wealth (subject to rough estimate is doomed to destruction or at least to unproductive use without any possible profit, it is logical, even inescapable, to surrender commodities without return.” In his volumes of The Accursed Share, Bataille proposes an entirely new perspective on economic theory that goes beyond both Marxism and capitalism. He distinguishes between traditionally restrictive economies and makes the move towards what he calls a general economy. In short, a restrictive economy would be that of the accumulation of production and its value based on the surplus energy that is produced within a given system. This accumulation does not expend the saved or “pent up” energy that it is stock-piling and must eventually void itself; war or conflict, as he argues are examples of the most drastic and devastating of these expenditures. Within a general economy, Bataille explains that non-productive expenditure, or the wasting of surplus energy instead of accumulating it, provides a luxury that is intended to serve no purpose other than to furnish a re-stabilization of the system. Moreover, he offers that the change in perspective from a restrictive economy to that of a general economy actually achieves a transformation or reversal of thinking and, more importantly, a reversal of ethics. In order to conceive even the basics of a restrictive economy, Bataille argues that the necessity of having a margin of profitless operations must be recognized. “Woe to those who, to the very end, insist on regulating the movement that exceeds them with the narrow mind of the mechanic who changes a tire.”
In a completion of his theories on a general economy, Bataille’s thoughts on excess tie in quite well. Excess, as a correlative of his writings on sacrifice, is explained as a surrender to squandering that is indefensible according to sound reason. In probably his most explanative demonstration on the subject, Bataille uses the act of smoking a cigarette. He states:
…it is above all a squandering deprived of meaning, deprived of any knowledge of itself; such depravations allow absence to appear. Smoking […] is the most exterior thing to our understanding. Insofar as we are absorbed in smoking we escape ourselves, we slip into a semiabsence, and if it is true that a concern for elegance is always connected to waste, smoking is elegance, is silence itself.
The consumption of the tobacco, along with the relief of intellectual constraint and the pure expenditure of destroying something for the sake of enjoyment, shows the necessity for the wasteful elegance of excess. Thus, it points to the raw phenomena of activity un-reliant on any given system that can be found to rest on fragmentary elements of an ideological analysis or under the rubric of religious relations. The silence that Bataille concludes on is referent to a sense of unspoken ecstasy that one revels in when succumbing to this deprivation of epistemic reliance. Another more abstract example of excess is in his work The Solar Anus, in which Bataille speaks of the sun’s expenditure of excess energy that fuels the cyclic expenditures of life and death. Akin to notions of entropy, this idea of excess reconnects waste as an integral ingredient to the production of life in terms of death, rather than the other way around.
Lastly, we come to Bataille’s definition of sovereignty. He is quick to point out that in speaking in terms of sovereignty he is in no way affiliating these concepts with that of the servile or the subordinate as are traditionally explained. Rather, he believes that, “…it belongs essentially to all men who possess and have never entirely lost the value that is attributed to gods and ‘dignitaries.’” Ultimately, what Bataille intends to do by returning the aspect of the sovereign back to its rightful place amidst every man is to reclaim its properties of inherent interiority and announce it as “life beyond utility.” That is to say, “…that it is servile to consider duration first, to employ the present time for the sake of the future, which is what we do when we work.” Putting this theory to use, he describes the worker in the real world sitting down to enjoy a glass of wine. While rational conception draws the workers thoughts to why he drinks the wine, to give him strength to do his job, the real reason that he is consuming the beverage is because it is in the hope of actually escaping the system of labor itself.
It’s not much, but at least the glass of wine gives him, for a brief moment, the miraculous sensation of having the world at his disposal. The wine is downed mechanically (no sooner swallowed than the worker forgets it), and yet it is the source of intoxication, whose miraculous value no one can dispute.
Bataille argues that while we as humans must succumb to our own necessities and feel the anguish if we fail at achieving them, we are only really succumbing to the animal injunctions within us. Going beyond the suffering that accompanies necessity and into the realm of desire is not only distinctly human but also miraculous, in that it is sovereign life “which delights us.” Whether it is the brilliance of the sun or the wine that makes one drunk, these moments of desire are what any man aspires to beauty. “What is the meaning of art, architecture, music, painting or poetry if not the anticipation of a suspended, wonder-struck moment, a miraculous moment?”
With these particular elements of Bataille’s thought readily at hand, we are able to approach Bukowski’s work with a more conceptual analysis of how exactly the latter is more revolutionary and nomadic in Deleuze and Parnet’s terms of Anglo-American literature versus French literature. By contrasting each of Bataille’s concepts respectively, we will see how Bukowski’s novels and poetry are not only more pragmatic in their subjectivity and narrative, but also demonstrate the inherent and complimentary relationship they have with Bataille’s philosophies as well.
When first considering Charles Bukowski writings, it is striking how exceptionally American his work is and how much it critically reflects on American society as a whole. Whether one focuses on his prose, poetry or novels, the body of work that he amassed over the years is a testament to the “working-class life” or as Russell Harrison substitutes this term in his critical analyses on Bukowski, “everyday life.” As a result of this, much of Bukowski has been dismissed on the basis of its banality or commonality with the every man. “I think it is the working class content of much of Bukowski’s work, rather than any so-called “banality,” that is the sticking point for many academic critics as well as for others.” Ultimately this rejection of Bukowski’s work, as Harrison argues, is actually reluctance to acknowledging the fact that American society is, indeed, a class society. Yet, in utilizing the voice of the everyday man in everyday life within his work, he has been able to shrug off traditional forms and approaches in order to speak to those who would normally not expose or be exposed to Bukowski’s writings. This being said it becomes not a question as to whether or not he can be considered a good writer, rather, it is a question of how one deals with his writing. These dealings should become more apparent when the aforementioned concepts of Bataille’s thought are placed side by side with examples of Bukowski’s work.
In his collection The Last Night of the Earth Poems, Bukowski’s “Dinosauria, we” resonates with the idea of base materialism but in a critical light that speaks directly to the elliptic nature that Bataille implies with his writings.
[…]Rain will be the new gold
The rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind
The last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases
And the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition
The petering out of supplies
The natural effect of general decay
And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard
Born out of that.
The sun still hidden there
Awaiting the next chapter.
While the entire poem exudes the downward spiral of humanity, the ending is what announces the very essence of base materialism. In corroboration with this essence, there is also a prominent post-humanist theme throughout the poem. In proclaiming the “nature effect of general decay,” Bukowski is able to disrupt the established relationship of metaphysical conceptions of dualism between man and the natural world. Moreover, with this ending, he is able to reinforce Bataille’s conceptions of a base matter which does not rely on human aspirations or reductions to infect it with anthropocentric ontological theories. The sun is still hidden there, awaiting the next chapter. Humans have reduced themselves to the very matter that they desired to reign over and the reader is thrust into a space where one must now not only consider, but also revel, in the silence that will never be heard. There is a striking display in this poem of Spinozan monism in terms of duration and breakdown and the destructive capabilities of each. Working in tandem with this, there is also the element of Nietzsche’s eternal return with the brutal elimination of the human as subject. While Bataille, in order to reach this point must inflict a fragile and seemingly anti-Hegelian method to achieve the breakdown he is striving for, Bukowski allows the reader to become an identity that is decentered yet still able to witness. In “Dinosauria, we,” the speaker places one right in the middle of it all so as to watch the destruction unfurl from all sides. Bataille on the other hand, utilizes the arborescent method of tabula rasa that Deleuze-Parnet criticize so as to build up in order to tear down.
Proceeding to the concept of non-productive expenditure, Bukowski’s novels Post Office and Factotum, provide an implicit yet radical demand for restructuring the supposed necessities for work and how one utilizes the refusal for accumulation. Each of these novels paints the aspect of labor with not only implacably negative gestures but also seriously calls into question its overall usefulness. Additionally, they mark an important change, that is, Bukowski’s call for work’s abolition. In order to make sense of this change, it is necessary to provide a brief explanation of the recurring semi-autobiographical character of Henry Chinaski and the political implications that he evokes in Bukowski’s work.
Chinaski, much like Bukowski, finds himself needing to work in order to write. In Post Office, he works first as a mail carrier and then as a “thrower” or clerk. In Factotum, the jobs are numerous and Chinaski continually gets fired or quits. Most importantly, in order to counter the exhaustion of work in general, he drinks alcohol and womanizes habitually. This aspect of excess in dealing with preserving oneself outside of labor, interestingly enough, can be found in Antonio Gramsci’s critique of Prohibition. “It seems clear that the new industrialism…wants the man as worker not to squander his nervous energies in the disorderly and stimulating pursuit of occasional sexual satisfaction. The employee who goes to work after a night of “excess” is no good for his work.” In having the character of Chinaski essentially mimic Bukowski’s own life, he in turn points to the necessity for the abolition of the restricted economy in which he is confined. The refusal of both the real and fictional man comes in the form of continually getting drunk and womanizing, expending any and all excess energies in order to return the next to work without any accumulation whatsoever. From this perspective, Bukowski not only demolishes any legitimacy of the American work ethic but also problematizes ideas of class in general by refusing to acknowledge the system as a whole. The both of them work within it to be sure; yet in denying the inherent ethic of the hierarchy he creates his own general economy in which he is able to traverse horizontally, or rather, immanently. If there is suddenly no transcendent desire or direction, then there are essentially no metaphysical restrictions to which one must adhere. Hence, Bukowski’s work and life places the reader within a rhizomatic milieu. As a result, class and accumulation suffer transvaluation at the hands of simply getting drunk and having sex.
While it is no mystery that Bataille was also privy to such debaucheries, Bukowski was able to utilize the concept of excess in more broadly accepted terms. In an interview, when asked about places and bars that he used to frequent when he was younger that would be good to film, Bukowski responded that:
That whole neighborhood is very very dead. We used to walk around there and we’d see pimps and whores hanging around the corners eating hot dogs with mustard(s) dripping down their chins. There’s nothing. There’s nobody there anymore…I get the feeling the world is more and more drying up…You walk into that bar sometime, and you walk in and try to find a bar stool. And you sit down and the bartender comes up and serves you a drink. You’re glad to get it, because you’re in a lively joint where something is happening. I think degradation, black pimps and prostitution are the flowers of the earth.”
He goes on to explain that there is a necessity for this kind of life, this kind of poverty or lack. There is a terror and a pain about it, but not in the way one would normally evaluate these things. He points to a “great happiness…and terror and horror too,” before poetically concluding that, “When you clean up a city you kill it.” This finds resonance with Bataille in relation to catastrophic expenditure in that man ignores the fact that he lives foundationally upon a “field of multiple destructions.” But instead of pointing to the end result of denying expenditure of these excess energies as accumulation leading up to war—as Bataille concludes—Bukowski, rather, speaks of the continuous battles that go on in everyday life. These battles, naturally, involve the spaces that open up upon the notion and fear of death. In affirming the presence of death in everyday life, Bukowski provides a method of resistance on more localized level that tends to be overlooked by blanketing caste-reliant hierarchal appropriations. In turn, this allows for a more subjective transvaluation of richness and beauty that is able to penetrate spaces of impoverishment and act within it. That is to say, death becomes every moment utilized and in effect harbors the ability for one to achieve a kind of sovereignty; this sovereignty is a theme that becomes more and more apparent as one goes through Bukowski’s poetic work.
One such example is Bukowski’s poem “it’s ours,” to which he explicitly directs the reader towards the idea of the sovereign.
there is always that space there
just before they get to us
that fine relaxer
flopping on the bed
thinking of nothing
pouring a glass of water from the
while entranced by
Unlike Bataille, there is not a reliance on considering sovereignty as something that is miraculous. Moreover, it is not something that can only be determined by a desire for intoxication. In this respect, Bataille falls back on sovereignty as a purely theoretical determination based on something which remains unexplained or can only be noted in terms of a kind of mysticism. Bukowski, on the other hand, specifies the precise moments of sovereignty in terms of singularity by utilizing temporality and extensive subjectivity. Both of these aspects, for example, are recognized by Harrison. He explains how Bukowski chooses to meticulously set up the scene in which he is presenting: “…the overwhelming majority of his poems are narratives of one sort or another and telling a story takes time: the scene has to be set…” More importantly, Bukowski’s poetry demands continuous self-assertion in order to endure the rest of the world around himself and, of course, around the reader. Bukowski’s narrative does not imply that the self somehow manifests an encompassing or objective reality. Rather, through a reflexive act that is based in subjectivity, or agency, the individual better grasps the concept of the self in order to achieve a limited objectivity. “Intense self-consciousness is not the principal factor here. The narrator […] reveals this view of self as defined through activity…”
The simplicity of these momentary events remains completely unobtainable by anyone but the speaker himself. These moments of singularity, which are then shared by Bukowski, act as examples of beauty which can only be determined subjectively through activity. Also, the sovereign importance of these instances of singularity, announce their sovereign power in the very act of them being shared by the speaker. In sharing these moments with us as readers, the power shifts its focus and provides the reinforcement necessary for others to take hold of this sovereignty as well. The last few lines of the poem: “[T]hat space/there/before they get to us/ensures/that/when they do/ they won’t/get it all/ever,” demonstrates how Bukowski does not need to mysticize any moment at any time, rather, he points to every moment that one has as a moment to escape and to take advantage of this as much as possible in order to achieve an extended sovereignty, a radicalized and lasting escape that does not rely, as Bataille believes, on miracle or intoxication in order to materialize the event.
With all this, keeping in mind the perspective of Deleuze and Parnet, it becomes obvious that the relation between Bataille and Bukowski falls under the designation of what constitutes one’s work being an exercise in delirium and what strives to define itself in relation to a foundation or set of terms. If we follow this relation to its logical ends we find something similar to the examination that Gerald Bruns gives in his book Tragic Thoughts at the End of Philosophy where he states: “To be sure, like poetry philosophy is made of words. But whereas poetry circulates in the air as so many songs, stories, sayings, and memories of intoxicating human beings, philosophy is language that is (or wants to be) fixed, settled, rooted, hooked onto the world..” While both Bataille and Bukowski delved into more than philosophy and poetry, it is indeed arguable that each of the author’s work is steeped in these areas respectively. Bruns reinforces this point in referencing Habermas by continuing on to say, “…naturally we look for poets among the mad folk who roam the wilderness, whereas the philosopher is the transcendental observer occupying the seat of wisdom and judgment.”
This perspective positions the poet, Bukowski, not only in the role of the madman, but displaces his voice as well. The everyman in everyday life that Bukowski writes as—and to—in his voluminous work essentially becomes every man in every life. Moreover, each of his collections of poetry become the stammering that Parnet is alluding to in the opening chapter of Dialogues on the defining the conversation. That is to say more specifically that between each poem an “AND” can be placed in order to continue the conversation between the speaker, the reader and the new voice that begins. Since Bukowski’s work maintains the potential of becoming many voices of every man, any voice, anytime, anywhere, there is the ability to localize its radical nature subjectively and escape nomadically, as Deleuze and Parnet suggest.
In regards to its revolutionary potential, all these potential voices disrupt the structural system of points of a philosophically rooted approach by working from the middle, the most uncomfortable position. Bukowski famously throughout his ‘career’ as a writer denied himself the position of comfort. “[A]s the spirit wanes the form appears.” The very essence of this denial is found in this very short yet poignant poem. The spirit implies not only interruption and discomfort, but also the notion of a rhizome and lines of flight. The form, in contrast, is that of points, origin and anchoring. Comfort is not what is interesting and it is not what produces the “art” of what the title of this poem imposes. “It is never the beginning or the end which are interesting; the beginning and end are points. What is interesting is the middle.” To push this further, this probably becomes most clear by Bukowski’s own advice: “If your parents begin to like your work, it’s getting bad. If the cops are around, something good must be happening. What you need is life! Your work has to be alive! You [have] to drink, write and fuck.”
On the other hand, Bataille, while indeed maintaining his fair share of revolution and becoming, finds himself according to Deleuze and Parnet as instead “making an exit from the world, mysticism or art or […] something rather sloppy because [he avoids his] commitments and responsibilities.” It is the very nature of Bataille’s mysticism and imagination that Deleuze and Parnet want to avoid; they want to do away with the notion of metaphysics. Moreover, they go on to express the deep harm that this phantasm has done to writing in general, pointing directly to Bataille as making the essence of literature a secret of some sort. Though it can be argued that Bataille’s thought is too concerned with the points of arborescence such as roots or trees, which in turn lead to a secret origin, what may be overlooked here is the environment he provides.
Obviously, there are many aspects of Bataille and Bukowski’s work that resonate which each other. Could it be that perhaps, with Bataille’s thought in mind, a space opens up that provides a more suitable environment for the becomings of Bukowski’s work to flourish? That is to say, rather, could Bukowski have a more richly realized potential when allowing Bataille to set the stage? While it has been shown that one can find Bukowski in a workable relationship within Bataille’s philosophy, it remains to be seen exactly where this interaction leaves the reader in terms of subjectivity—if at all. In fact, this could very well be just another dualism that Parnet calls Deleuze out on in regards to the tone of his questioning: either-or choices that tend to lock interviews and colloquia into binary machines. But what does remain is the pragmatic and localized nature of Bukowski in contrast to Bataille, insofar as Anglo-American literature compares to French literature and being able to point directly to singular events and voices while maintaining a sense of becoming and revolutionary potential. Ending with this final example to ponder, it is entirely possible that Bukowski may have summed up the culmination of Bataille’s philosophical career with the closing words of his life on the epitaph of his tombstone: “Don’t try.” This advice, indeed, holds true to being a fundamental ingredient in which both Bataille and Bukowski proposed that one should confront life.
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London: MIT Press, 2001.
—. The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I. Trans. Robert
Hurley. New York: Zone Books, 1991.
—. The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume II & III. Trans. Robert Hurley.
New York: Zone Books, 1993.
—. Theory of Religion. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Zone Books, 1989.
—. The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge. Ed. Stuart Kendall. Trans. Michelle Kendall and
Stuart Kendall. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.
—. Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939. Ed. Allan Stoekl. Trans. Allan Stoekl, Carl
R. Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie, Jr. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985.
Bruns, Gerald. Tragic Thoughts at the End of Philosophy: Language, Literature, and Ethical
Theory. Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1999.
Bukowski: Born Into This. Dir. John Dullaghan. Prod. John McCormick and Diane Markow.
March 21, 2003. Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2006. DVD.
Bukowski, Charles. Factotum. Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 2000.
—. The Last Night of the Earth Poems. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
—. Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit.
Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1995.
—. Post Office. Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1988.
—. You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense. Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1996.
The Charles Bukowski Tapes. Dir. Barbet Schroeder. 1985. Barrel Entertainment. August 29,
Deleuze, Gilles and Claire Parnet. Dialogues. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam.
New York : Columbia University Press, 1977.
Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Ed. and trans. Quintin Hoarse and
Geoffrey Nowell Smith. New York: International Publishers, 1971.
Harrison, Russell. Against the American Dream: Essays on Charles Bukowski. Santa Rosa:
Black Sparrow Press, 1994.
Stivale, Charles J. “Deleuze/Parnet in “Dialogues”: The Folds of Post-Identity.” The Journal of
The Midwest Modern Language Association. Vol. 36, No. 1. (Spring, 2003): 25-37.
 Deleuze, Gilles and Claire Parnet. Dialogues. Trans. Tomlinson, Hugh and Barbara Habberjam. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 37-8.
 Ibid., 39.
 Bataille, Georges. “The Absence of Myth.” Surrealist Painters and Poets. Caws, Mary Ann, ed. (London: MIT Press, 2001), 111.
 The most prevalent and problematic example being Bataille’s writings on Animality. See Bataille’s Theory of Religion.
 Bataille, Georges. “Discussions on Sin.” Unfinished Systems of Nonknowledge. Ed. Stuart Kendall. Trans. Michelle Kendall and Stuart Kendall. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 58-9.
 Ibid., 59.
 Ibid., 59.
 Bataille, Georges. Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939. Ed. Allan Stoekl. Trans. Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 47.
 Ibid., 51.
 Bataille, Georges. The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I. Trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Zone Books, 1991), 25.
 It is worthy to note here that the proposal of this economic theory was so radically influential that Eugene W. Holland, in his book on Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guatarri’s Anti-Oedipus, argues that Bataille’s insights are so important that had he not existed for them to utilize as a key ingredient in their theories, then they would have had to invent them. For Deleuze to then call Bataille out for his vagueness as a French author has interesting ramifications in terms of Deleuze’s own philosophical methods.
 Ibid., 26.
 Bataille, The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge, 6.
 Ibid., 6.
 Bataille. Visions of Excess,16.
 Ibid., 6.
 Bataille, Georges. The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volumes II & III. Trans. Robert Hurley. (New York: Zone Books, 1993), 197.
 Ibid., 198.
 Ibid., 199.
 Ibid., 199.
 Ibid., 200.
 Harrison, Russell. Against the American Dream: Essays On Charles Bukowski. (Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1994), 12.
 Ibid., 12.
 Bukowski, Charles. The Last Night of the Earth Poems. (New York: Harper Collins, 1992), 320. Italics are mine.
 Harrison, 125.
 Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Ed. and trans. Quintin Hoarse and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. (New York: International Publishers, 1971), 304-05. (Harrison makes this connection between Gramsci and Bukowski in terms of explaining Bukowski’s depictions in his writing as “possessing a certain universality.” While this avenue can be used to further the explanations of refusal of work in terms of liberating libidinal energies, for the purposes of this essay I will remain focused specifically on how it relates to excess and non-productive expenditure.)
 The Charles Bukowski Tapes. Dir. Barbet Schroeder. (Barrel Entertainment, 1987). Italics are mine.
 Ibid. Italics are mine.
 Bataille, The Accursed Share Volume I., 23.
 Bukowski, Charles. You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense. (Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1996), 312-3.
 Harrison, 35.
 Ibid., 36.
 Bukowski, 312-13.
 Bruns, Gerald. Tragic Thoughts at the End of Philosophy: Language, Literature, and Ethical Theory. (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1999), 2.
 Ibid., 2.
 Deleuze/Parnet. Dialogues., 39.
 Bukowski, Charles. Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit. (Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1995), 125.
 Deleuze/Parnet, 39.
 Bukowski: Born Into This. Dir. John Dullaghan. (Magnolia Entertainment, 2006).
 Deleuze/Parnet, 36.
 Ibid., 47.
 Stivale, Charles J. “Deleuze/Parnet in “Dialogues” : The Folds of Post-Identity.” The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association. Vol. 36, No. 1. (Spring, 2003), 27.