Characterizes Bukowski as a willing and enthusiasitic digital immigrant, one for whom the computer can be read as a metonymic counterpart for the writer himself.
In poems, letters, and in The Captain, Bukowski chronicled his struggles with the computer. The shutdowns, the lost poems, the time at the shop for repairs. This mirrored Bukowski’s own health problems and trips to the hospital. The computer represented the writer in old age. The computer and the digital revolution also suggest the end of the book and of print. As a result, the computer spelled the death of the traditional author, a fact that must have struck Bukowski as he faced death himself.
On the other and opposite hand, Burroughs never warmed to the flicker of the digital display. According to Birmingham, Burroughs
Burroughs sought to detourn mass print culture and turn it back on itself. How mass print culture operated, disseminated, and influenced public opinion intrigued Burroughs. He was also intensely involved with the materiality of print.
remarks which ring true considering Burroughs’s dedication to the cut-up method and the themes present in Naked Lunch and The Soft Machine.
As an aside, I was intrigued by Burroughs’s bad experience teaching, one which led Burroughs to say
The teaching gig was a lesson in never again. You were giving out all this energy and nothing was coming back.
Not my own experience, but I can see why Burroughs might have felt that way. Teaching requires one to work with students who by definition are less accomplished and, in most cases, less capable than you.