Factotum follows the life of the character Henry Chinaski during the 1940s as he unsuccessfully attempts to become a journalist and a writer. Chinaski takes on a series of low-skilled, low-paid jobs all of which he considers beneath him before he finally accepts that he is destined for a life of under employment while not living up to the expectations he has set for himself.
Strain theory offers an avenue for a new perspective on Factotum. The bulk of previous criticism on Bukowski takes as a starting point the idea that Bukowski is a writer who is demonstrably rebellious in content and character. More recently there is a new line of criticism which considers whether Bukowski was actually more of a conformist than previously considered. Paul Clement suggests that Bukowski’s work may have operated as a form of ‘social deterrence’, with the presentation of people who do not conform to society’s norms as being ‘losers’, thereby reinforcing those social norms. Strain theory, with its division of conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion provides a unique insight which can support this more recent approach to Bukowski. Clement briefly mentioned Robert K. Merton and strain theory as one of many sociologists who have examined social deviance, alongside Emile Durkheim and Howard Becker.
In Factotum, Henry Chinaski shows evidence of attempting to conform. At various points in the novel he attempts to find employment in a high status occupation as a journalist and relies on his ‘two years of college’ to help him achieve this or at least to give him a higher status than the other people doing menial work with him who presumably have no college credits to their name. By the end of the novel, Chinaski has retreated and rejects the idea of a high status job, instead opting to continue working in low paid, low skill jobs. He also stops referring to his time at college demonstrating that he has rejected the social means to achieve.
Factotum is a novel inhabited by failures; Henry Chinaski deliberately surrounds himself with other beaten down individuals. Chinaski himself is a literary failure, unable to generate a huge degree of interest in his abilities as a writer. The book glorifies and glamorises the destitute and presents a philosophy of removing oneself from the obligations and pressures of society, what Howard Sounes termed Bukowski’s ‘philosophy of non-participation’, a central tenet of the Bukowski-myth.
As noted above, the relationship between Bukowski’s work and his life is complex. The general academic consensus is that Bukowski was writing about his lived experience and that his work exists somewhere on a spectrum of autobiography, be that fully ‘autobiographical’, ‘semi-autobiographical’, or ‘quasi-autobiographical’. These works exist as a means to create the Bukowski-myth. That of someone who operates as a rebel in society; someone who works against the hegemonic norms; someone who inverts what it means to be a success.
Seymour Chatman’s understanding of the concept of the implied author helps resolve the issue of biography within Bukowski’s work. Bukowski is the author of the novels. Chinaski is the narrator. In between is a third ‘ghostly being… situated between the two.’ This is the implied author and is the mythological Bukowski; the public image, the creation, more real than Chinaski, but more fictional than the man born Heinrich Karl Bukowski in Andernach, Germany. Chatman states, ‘An implied author inhibits the overhasty assumption that the reader has direct access through the fictional text to the real author’s intentions and ideology’. Bukowski makes use of the implied author and the Bukowski-myth to create a feeling of reality in texts which are generally unadorned with descriptive language. The harsh, gritty, realism comes from the reader’s understanding that what they are reading is at its core a true story. This is an assumption which Bukowski utilised by referring to his real life at times, but ultimately, the books are fictitious.
What we know is that Bukowski lived in Los Angeles at the same time as Henry Chinaski in Factotum and by cross referencing Russell Harrison’s comprehensive list of jobs in the novel with the biographical information we have on Bukowski, it is clear that Bukowski worked many of the same jobs as Chinaski during that period. It might be useful to borrow the terminology and theory from Eugene Nida’s dynamic-equivalence translation theory and consider that in the translation from Bukowski’s life to his work, the reader may not be presented with a literal formal equivalence, a word-for-word representation, but more of a dynamic equivalence where the sense and spirit of Bukowski’s life are presented in his novels.
From this starting point we can see that Factotum provides an interesting area of conflict between the states of success and failure and also fact and fiction; with the character Chinaski moving between the two states throughout the novel. Van den Bossche and Wennerschied identify liminality in fiction as an opportunity for characters to ‘negotiate between their fluid identities’ in a ‘carnivalesque and anarchistic state’. This ambiguity over whether the author and the character can be considered success or failure is considered by ni Eigearteigh to be a ‘defining characteristic of the liminal state’.
In the strain theory model and the acceptance or rejection of goals and means, those who reject both as their response to social anomie are placed in the retreatism category. They come to understand that society does not work for them and that they are unable to take advantage of the socially accepted routes to success. During the course of Factotum Chinaski attempts to negotiate his way to success using the accepted means, but his destructive personality and behaviour result in his rejection of goals and means. In Chinaski’s case, he is eschewing the typical goal of western society, monetary success, which can be accomplished by gaining the status signifiers of wealth such as desirable property or the cultural capital associated with professional careers. Instead, the retreatist attempts to escape from society by creating new goals and new means of achieving them. Robert K. Merton described those individuals who adjust to society in this way as comprising ‘pariahs, outcasts, vagrants, vagabonds, tramps, chronic drunkards’, terms which could all be applied to Chinaski throughout the course of the novel.
The essential tension at the heart of social strain theory, that of an individual being conditioned to become successful but in a system which is established to prevent some people from achieving success, is represented in the novel through Chinaski’s inability to succeed in the workplace despite clearly being intelligent and capable of that success. Instead, Bukowski presents an image of a man who is meant to be an unthinking beast, a work horse in the employment system of America.
From the beginning of the novel, Chinaski is shown to be a liminal character. Early in the novel, Chinaski moves back into his parent’s house, and we are shown that he comes from a respectable middle-class family while Chinaski himself functions as a member of an under-class. This early tension comes to a head when Chinaski is escorted home by the police early one morning from a night of drinking. Chinaski vomits on his parents ‘Persian Tree of Life rug’, a very physical manifestation of the conflict between Chinaski’s middle-class upbringing and his current under-class state (p. 15).
Chinaski’s father attempts to push Chinaski’s face into the vomit. By being zoomorphised in this manner, Chinaski is shown to be somewhere between a beast and a man. ‘”Do you know what we do to a dog when he shits on the rug?”… He grabbed the back of my neck. He pressed down’ (p. 15). Chinaski retaliates by springing up and punching his father in the face, knocking him across the room. This action presents Chinaski as an oedipal figure, breaking the taboo against violence towards a father. A.B. Renger suggested Oedipus as a liminal figure in her work Oedipus and the Sphinx: The Threshold Myth from Freud to Cocteau.Expanding upon this work we can see that Chinaski is occupying a threshold phase ‘in which people find themselves when they have broken free from a particular set of social relationships but have not yet attained admission to the brand-new state they have been approaching’. Though Chinaski, or indeed any of Bukowski’s work, is not referenced in Renger’s book, the oedipal impulse which Chinaski demonstrates and its connection to liminality is striking.
The recurring motif of Chinaski’s academic career is utilised to further establish his role as liminal character, caught between success and failure. Chinaski dropped out of college after two years but frequently relies on those two years to emotionally and psychologically elevate himself above the menial jobs he is employed to do. This supercilious attitude is noted by colleagues which solidifies Chinaski’s liminality, he performs the jobs, but he remains detached from them (p. 5).
That Chinaski inhabits this threshold space as a result of a stalled career as a student is demonstrated during a passage in which Chinaski meets an old friend and they go out drinking (pp. 16-17). Chinaski is hung over and unemployed. He heads out into Los Angeles looking for work when a car driven by an old friend pulls up next to him. Inside is Timmy, someone who went to Los Angeles City College with Chinaski and is now attending the University of Southern California. The dichotomy between Chinaski, college dropout, drunk, unemployed, and Timmy who is enjoying continued academic success, is financially comfortable, and owns a car illustrates the contrast between success and failure.
The two friends go to some bars and become ‘86’d’ and in their drunken state decide to take a rest on the steps of a mortuary, pretending to be bodies lying on morticians slabs (p. 17). The cemetery is an essentially liminal space, functioning as an area connecting life and death, and it is here that two old friends whose paths have diverged between success and failure find that those paths have converged, and they have become equal again in feigned death. The cemetery, in this instance a mortuary but still a space for keeping the dead, is what Foucault terms a ‘heterotopia of deviation: those in which individuals whose behaviour is deviant in relation to the required mean or norm are placed’. Timmy does not belong here, his is a life of success and norms, but Chinaski does belong here thanks to his social deviance. Through his instigation, Timmy enters this deviant world, a place where Chinaski clearly feels at home as this deviant behaviour has become the norm for him. Chinaski takes the lead in resting on the steps of the mortuary and lays Timmy down. ‘Then I carefully stretched him out on a step. I straightened his legs and out his arms neatly down by is sides’ (p. 17). This heterotopic, liminal space belongs to Chinaski and it is his responsibility to invite people in and make them comfortable.
This space is contrasted with Timmy’s home life from earlier in their evening together. Chinaski is welcomed into Timmy’s home where he receives a disparaging remark from Timmy’s mother while Timmy is in his bedroom (p. 17). Timmy leaves the bedroom after leaving his books, the material signifier of his difference to Chinaski. Timmy does not return to his bedroom that night and instead, at Chinaski’s prompting lies down to sleep in the open, away from a permanent dwelling. This is something we have seen Chinaski do previously when choosing to sleep on a park bench instead of in a hotel as ‘it seemed safer’ (p. 10). The open spaces of a city at night belong to Chinaski, in the same way that the middle-class family homes belong to people like Timmy.
Early in the novel, success is seen as something within Chinaski’s grasp if he is willing to work hard enough. Chinaski fantasises about the status signifiers of success; ‘cigars… fine clothes… good steaks… beautiful homes… ease… trips to Europe… fine women’ (p. 43). At this point, Chinaski still believes that success is available to those who are willing to work hard. He compares himself to the manager he has at the ladies’ dress ware shop, ‘were they that much more clever than I? The only difference was money and the desire to accumulate it. I’d do it too! I’d save my pennies’ (p. 43). This prompts a second extended fantasy list of the activities of a man who has power to wield. He imagines having a beautiful wife and the power to fire people, the power to make people afraid of him, ‘I’d show them!’ (p. 44).
Ultimately the reader understands that this all futile on the part of Chinaski. They know that he will end up working in the post office as depicted in the earlier novel Post Office (1971). There is a pathetic quality to these fantasies of power and the dramatic irony of Chinaski’s glee at nearing literary success, while the reader knows he has some years of working-class toil ahead of him, is potent.
Chinaski walks home from work with these ambitious fantasies playing through his head. When he arrives home he finds a letter from Frontfire, a literary magazine to which he had been sending short stories. It is an acceptance letter for his story ‘My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder Than All The Dead Christmas Trees Of The World’ (p. 44). This is Chinaski’s first acceptance letter and represents the zenith of hope for Chinaski. It is at this point of the novel where things seem as if they might start to turn for him; perhaps there is hope of finding success through artistic means after all. Of course, readers who are already familiar with Chinaski through the earlier Post Office will know that Chinaski’s artistic ambitions would continue to be frustrated for some time to come.
In a picaresque novel which lacks much in the way of dramatic structure, this point may represent the top of the inverted-U of Northrop Frye’s structural theory in which a character who has started a narrative at a position of ill-fortune reaches a zenith of happiness before falling down to a similar state from which he began, demonstrating a liminal transience as a character briefly moves between thresholds of happiness and sadness. Bukowski follows this traditional structure and Chinaski soon reverts to rejection letters. None the less, this point is the first and one of the few episodes of the book where Chinaski seems to be succeeding. His narrative exclamation when describing his story being accepted ‘MY FIRST’, in capital letters makes the utterance jump from the page at the reader. It is clear that Chinaski is in this brief moment energised and motivated (p. 44). However, Chinaski soon moves back to a state of failure, completing the transition from failure to success back to failure and resolving the liminal state which he had been occupying as he oscillated briefly between these two binary opposites.
Elements of Chinaski’s eventual retreat from society in which he abandons both the social goals and the structural means can be seen as America celebrates the end of the Second World War. Chinaski had previously been exempted from military service as a 4F, someone not acceptable for military service due to a deficiency in physical, mental, or moral standards and so stayed home in America while the war took place in Europe. On the night that World War II ended, one of the most significant moments of the twentieth century, Chinaski found himself with nothing to celebrate. ‘The war had always been at best a vague reality to me, but now it was over. And the jobs that had always been difficult to get became more so’ (p. 74). Chinaski is distancing himself from mainstream society. He is finding it hard to succeed as he is finding it hard to gain employment. The end of the war only exacerbates this situation from Chinaski’s perspective and so he can gain no joy from the approaching peace.
The zoomorphism of Chinaski is continued as an extended metaphor later in the novel when he begins to attend regular horse races. Chinaski and a colleague, Manny, decide to leave work early to try to make it to the horses to bet on the final race. Chinaski and Manny sprint for the betting booth and Chinaski’s zoomorphism is demonstrated in their race. ‘Manny opened up six lengths on me in the parking lot… Manny held his six lengths through the tunnel… coming out of the tunnel and into the track proper, I closed up on Manny until I was only five lengths back’ (p. 79).
Chinaski finds success in betting on horses and begins to accumulate for himself some of the trappings of success which he had previously fantasised about. After a successful run of gambling, in which Chinaski is now exploiting animals to generate wealth, he ‘bought a good pair of shoes, a new belt and two expensive shirts. The owner of the warehouse didn’t look so powerful anymore. Manny and I took a little longer with our lunches and came back smoking good cigars’ (p. 81), a stereotypical signifier of wealth and success in post-war America. Chinaski begins to compete with his employers in terms of wealth and status and it is clear that just as Chinaski has exploited the work of animals for his monetary gains, so too are his employers exploiting him. Chinaski is dehumanised by the frequent low status jobs he receives which contributes to his eventual retreat from society.
Chinaski’s attempt to utilise his curtailed college education to advance himself socially is at its most pronounced towards the end of the novel during Chinaski’s attempts to find employment at The Times. Chinaski applies for a job as a reporter speculatively at The Times building. He notes that his chances of being employed in this capacity are low, ‘It was the same at most newspapers in most cities. You were hired because you were famous or because you knew somebody’ (p. 108). Demonstrating strain theory’s position that socialised goals are rarely the actual means for finding success.
Chinaski does receive employment at The Times where in a brief discussion drenched in bathos, he is offered a role as a janitor (p. 112). On his first evening shift, Chinaski recognises the trivial nature of his job as compared to the job of reporter, ‘Why was I chosen to polish this rail? Why couldn’t I be inside writing editorials about municipal corruption?” (p. 114).
Inevitably, Chinaski is eventually let go from his janitorial position which prompts him to make one final, desperate pitch for a respectable, professional position at The Times. Chinaski hustles his way into the office of the director. Chinaski again references his two years of journalism at Los Angeles City College and is again overlooked for the position of reporter (p. 124). He is trapped within the social strain of existing in a society which has convinced him that he needs to attain certain goals without providing him with the means to do so.
This indirect analysis of the American Dream and its failings will be explored further in the following chapter. Bukowski never interacted directly with politics, claiming that he did not ‘look for solutions in God or politics’; preferring instead to attempt to paint an honest portrayal of life at the bottom of American society, with no bias, allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions if they wished. Some critics however, such as Paul Clement, have noted a clear political element to Factotum seeing it as ‘critical of American ideology’ while others such as Abel Debritto have acknowledged Bukowski’s distance from political events as being noteworthy as ‘world events hardly ever made it into his work… as if they were invisible.’ Any claims made by Bukowski have to be understood as being made by the implied author to maintain the Bukowski-myth. The myth encourages apathy in political affairs but it is up to the reader to determine if they discern any political leaning within Bukowski’s novels.
As the novel goes on, Chinaski seems unable and perhaps even unwilling to rise above the jobs he is doing and so his clinging to his academic career begins to seem more and more desperate. Finally, by the end of the novel, Chinaski decides that his college credits, previously the one thing which he had which bestowed some form of achievement, of success onto him, is worthless in society and so he rejects it. He has become a factotum, moving from one job to another, demonstrating another aspect of his liminality and in contrast to Bukowski’s preceding novel Post Office in which Chinaski is employed by one employer throughout the twelve-year course of the novel.
In the closing pages of the novel, Chinaski finally gives up on any hopes he has of succeeding in the way which society expects him to. Chinaski finds himself unemployed and in need of money again, so he goes through the familiar actions of applying for a job. He begins to fill in the education section with his two years of college but stops himself.
Then after education and work abilities I wrote: “two years L.A. CITY College. Journalism and Fine Arts.”
Then I told the clerk, “I ruined this card. Could I have another?”
He gave me one. I wrote instead: “Graduate, L.A. High School. Shipping clerk, warehouseman, labourer. Some typing” (p. 159).
Chinaski’s inability to find meaningful work has finally resulted in his abandoning the pretence of achievement which his college education had provided him with. Chinaski had made an attempt at playing by the rules of society and had attended college, but this wasn’t enough to elevate him above those who had no college credits at all. Chinaski sabotages this latest job application by drinking in the waiting room as he waits for any work to come in (p. 161). Chinaski seems unreasonable in this scene, and he appears to acknowledge this. Chinaski refers to the employee who removes him. He is a ‘nice-looking young guy’ (p. 161). Chinaski ‘felt guilty’ about his actions but ‘felt no anger’ as Chinaski knows that the employee ‘didn’t really care what [Chinaski] did’, he is just abiding by the rules of the establishment (p. 161). Even when the young man punches Chinaski and draws blood, Chinaski remains removed from the situation and doesn’t offer any sort of anger either to the employee or to the reader. The reader ultimately does not get enough from Chinaski to render a moral judgement on the situation. It just happened, and this demonstrates Bukowski’s attempt to paint an honest picture of American working-class life. It just happens and any anger or frustration from either character or readers is futile. It all just is.
Clement believes that the ‘shorter sentence structure’ utilised in Factotum allowed Bukowski ‘greater control over the text’. This contrasts with the lack of control over situations which Chinaski demonstrates within the text and in this scene especially. This highlights an inconsistency in Bukowski’s desire to paint an honest picture. Any form of art is presented through an artist’s viewpoint and will inevitably present a particular point of view. In this instance there is a notable gap between the narrator and the implied author. The implied author, according to Clement, has a strong grip on the story through his use of language butChinaski has come up against unfeeling bureaucracy and lost.
The final page of the novel sees Chinaski attend a strip tease, sitting alone and with only thirty-eight cents left to his name after purchasing a ticket for the show (p. 162). Chinaski sits there watching the stripper perform. The reader is reminded of the horses and the labourers, people who had to sell their bodies to make some money for themselves but more money for other people. The ‘cage’ which one of the women is in is reminiscent of the earlier ‘gate’ which held the horses Chinaski was about to see perform (p. 88). Similarly, Chinaski is specific about the seat he sits in to watch the striptease, ‘I walked into the dark theatre eight rows from the front. The first three rows were packed’ (p. 162). There are again similarities with the specificity of seats and the problems of seats being taken as shows at the races, ‘A small grey-haired old man was sitting in the centre of our newspapers. “Sir, those are our seats.”’ (p. 87).
Chinaski sits there and notes that he ‘couldn’t get it up’ (p. 163). The tension which strain theory elucidates has left him powerless, literally impotent.
Ultimately, Factotum is a novel about a man who initially wants to ‘get on’ and succeed in society and makes some attempt to achieve this. Eventually, Chinaski discovers that he is unable to and so he rejects the socially enforced goal of success, and the means which are provided to achieve it.
Applying strain theory as a tool for analysing Bukowski’s work can illuminate one of the more controversial aspects of his writing which is often raised, that of his notorious misogyny. Lydia E. Ferguson and Alyssa D. Ross make the compelling point that Bukowski was at the vanguard of the men’s movement, a ‘response to the feminist thought and activism of the 1960s and 1970s’, and the segment which Bukowski belonged to sought ‘liberation for men’. They point to his representation of women in Women (1978) as being especially egregious with the female characters being more ‘a means of satisfying [Henry Chinaski’s] sexual urges than as people he can engage with on a deeper level’. Other critics have attempted to explain Bukowski’s misogyny. Barry Miles suggests that Bukowski’s ‘attitudes towards women were formed in the 30s and, like many of his generation, he failed to comprehend what the women’s movement was about’. The idea that Bukowski’s negative presentation of women is simply down to a generational misunderstanding does not go far enough in trying to ascertain what Bukowski was trying to achieve in his overtly misogynistic rendering of his female characters.
Though perhaps not as much the focus in Factotum female characters are presented in a similar fashion as to the later novel Women. Chinaski moves from sexual partners frequently, sometimes the sexual liaisons turn into short term love affairs, but Chinaski remains broadly unaffected by these characters emotionally. The charge that female characters in Bukowski’s novels serve merely as sexual satisfaction seems to ring true.
Through the application of strain theory, Bukowski’s misogyny can also be examined. Joseph Harry and Mary C. Sengstock highlighted that society does not have a homogenous set of goals which everyone is expected to strive towards and they made particular note of the different goals expected of men and women. They say, and accept that it is rather crudely put, that ‘men are interested in money while women, until very recently, have been more interested in love and babies’. Harry and Sengstock were writing to explain what socially deviant behaviour in women would look like, and state that it would take the form of acting in a way which will not have ‘love and babies’ as the end goal. The world that Chinaski inhabits in Factotum is replete with characters all experiencing social strain and exhibiting deviant behaviour as a consequence. Bukowski’s apparent fixation on presenting his female characters as sexually promiscuous, disloyal, and opportunistic is actually his means of demonstrating their different form of social anomie. Chinaski didn’t want money, and the women in Factotum don’t want love.
Factotum was set in the 1940s but is filtered through the ideological perspective of the time it was written, the 1970s. The changes in the economic and social structure of America between the 1940s and the 1970s seep through into the text of Factotum. The hopeless nihilism of Chinaski and his supporting cast seem to speak more of the stagflation of the 1970s than of the optimism of post-war America. This in turn could inform Bukowski’s representation of women. The goals which society placed on women were changing and as college and career opportunities opened up, the pursuit of wealth, previously identified by Harry and Sengstock as a male goal, was becoming one which women could also pursue. Mainstream society during the setting of Factotum was much more gendered than at the time Bukowski was writing with different activities expected of women and men. Providing that when Bukowski was describing the women in Factotum he was writing as accurately as he seemed to be when writing about the experiences of Chinaski, Bukowski reveals that at the edges of society, the areas where people experience strain, stereotypical gender roles were not as strong.
Bukowski wrote about sexually liberated women and he wrote about them in the same grimy, hopeless manner that he wrote about his own deviant behaviour as he travelled from pointless job to pointless job. This is in no way meant to exculpate Bukowski, merely to view this aspect of his writing through strain theory.
In Chinaski’s relationships with women in Factotum, he almost exclusively refers to them in aggressive sexual terms. Jan, the most prominent female character of the novel, is introduced as being ‘an excellent fuck’ with no other illuminating aspects of her character revealed (p. 66). The other prominent female characters Laura, Grace, and Jenny, are drunks and live with a rich man called Wilbur. They pretend to like him in order to live carefree lives, casually having sex with him when he requires (pp. 49-62). One night, Chinaski sleeps with all of them, demonstrating both a stereo-typical aggressive masculinity on the part of Chinaski and also an immature attitude to the sexual availability of the female characters.
Chinaski views women as simply being objects to provide him with satisfaction. He rarely demonstrates any warmth towards them though he suggests that the main problem he has with the women he knows is that they choose to associate with him. Chinaski seems to act as a poison, negatively affecting the women he knows. After spending some time away from Jan, Chinaski meets her again. ‘She looked good, like getting away from me for awhile had helped her’ (p. 104). This same attitude is demonstrated as Chinaski laments Jan’s unfaithfulness, ‘I kept telling myself that all women in the world weren’t whores, just mine’ (p. 108). Chinaski surrounds himself with women who are also experiencing social strain and behaving in a socially deviant way, but there is something hyper-deviant about Chinaski, he infects others with his deviance. By the end of the novel, the character of Henry Chinaski has been revealed. He is a failure and a victim and his victimhood manifests in an aggressive attitude towards women. Society has presented unattainable goals and rendered him powerless and full of self-hatred. He takes the only option now open to him. He retreats.
 Paul Clement, p. 182.
 Paul Clement, p. 95.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum (London: Virgin Books, 2009), p. 98. Further references to this edition are given after quotations in the text.
 Howard Sounes, (2010), p. 221.
 Keri Walsh, ‘Why Does Mickey Rourke Give Pleasure?’, Critical Inquiry, 37:1 (Autumn, 2010) pp131-168 (p. 138).
Alyssa Ross and Lydia Ferguson, ‘Case Study – Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) and the Rise of the Men’s Movement’ in Misogyny in American Culture: Causes, Trends, and Solutions, ed. by Letizia Guglielmo (Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press, 2018), pp. 328 – 329 (p. 328).
 James D. Hart, ‘Charles Bukowski’, The Oxford Companion to American Literature, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), p. 108.
 Seymour Chatman, p. 74.
 Seymour Chatman, p. 76.
 Russell Harrison, ‘Hollywood’s Take on the Working-Class Writer: Filming Bukowski’s Factotum’, Regional Labour Review, Spring (2007) <https://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/academics/colleges/hclas/cld/cld_rlr_sp07_hollywooods_harrison.pdf> [accessed 8 July 2021] (para 2 of 10).
 Eugene Nida and Charles Taber, The Theory and Practice of Translation, With Special Reference to Bible Translating (Leiden: Brill, 1969), p. 200.
 Sara Van den Bossche and Sophie Wennerscheid, ‘Editorial. Border Crossings, Rites of Passage, and Liminal Experience in Contemporary Literature’, DiGeSt. Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies, I5.2 (2018), pp. 1-6 (p. 2).
Aoileann ní Éigeartaigh, ‘Liminal Spaces and Contested Narratives in Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Parámo and George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo’, IJAS Online, 8 (2018-19), 66-83 (p. 70).
 Robert K. Merton, ‘Social Structure and Anomie’, American Sociological Review, 3.5 (October, 1938), 672-682 (p. 677).
 A.B. Renger, Oedipus and the Sphinx: The Threshold Myth from Sophocles through Freud to Cocteau (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), p. 4.
 A.B. Renger, p. 4.
 Michel Foucault and Jay Miskoweic, ‘Of Other Spaces’, Diacritics, 16.1 (Spring, 1986), pp. 22-27 (p. 25).
 Northrop Frye, The Great Code: The Bible and Literature, (London: Penguin, 1990) p. 176.
 Howard Sounes, (2010), p. 72.
 Paul Clement, p. 55.
 Abel Debritto, p. 7.
 Paul Clement, p. 55.
 Stephen Holden, ‘Poet’s Grim Prophecies, With Drama and Music’, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2010, p. C6(L) < link.gale.com/apps/doc/A243018943/STND?u=tou&sid=bookmark-STND&xid=40616974> Accessed 20 June 2021.
 Alyssa Ross and Lydia Ferguson, p. 328.
 Alyssa Ross and Lydia Ferguson, p. 329.
 Barry Miles, p. 223.
 Joseph Harry and Mary C. Sengstock, ‘Attribution, Goals, and Deviance’, American Sociological Review, 43.2 (April, 1978), 278-280 (p. 278).
 Russell Harrison, (para 7 of 10).