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Well, maybe I didn't use the right expression. What I mean is, restoring Bukowski's poetry is more important to me than finding/exposing the culprit. That's secondary to me. If you're going to restore Bukowski's poetry, knowing who made those changes won't affect the restoring process at all."a most pressing question: who made all those changes? [...] it’s a moot point now. Pointing fingers won’t change anything."
This probably won't come as a great shock to anyone, but I do not agree that it is a "moot point."
I don't think that's entirely true, at least in my experience. I talked to him several times over the years, and I did ask him about the changes twice. Both times he said didn't make them, and he then said it was Bukowski himself who made those changes. He did admit to doing some "small editing," or something like that, can't recall the exact words now, but that was the extent of it.It's worth noting that John Martin has never said he didn't make the changes. Whenever the issue is brought up, he goes into long explanations of how Bukowski worked, explanations that are usually contradictory, with ever changing details. But I haven't seen him flatly state that he didn't make the changes. Wouldn't a real editor readily admit to changes? Yet he admits nothing.
In conversations with you, okay. All I can go by is what I've read, and what I've read is, as I mentioned, nebulous "explanations" of how Bukowski edited so much that you just never know what he really wrote. Why, it's an "impenetrable maze"! What a convenient wall to hide behind.Both times he said didn't make them, and he then said it was Bukowski himself who made those changes.
Yes they are. Which is why I mentioned the Internet as being the only reason this is being publicly discussed at all.a mainstream literary magazine [...] they're going to be afraid of a libel claim...
No, that's not what I think or what I meant to say, if I did. I know you're not.If you think I'm defending Martin...
when I exchanged emails with him long ago, he repeatedly statet, that it was Bukowski, who's made the changes in question by himself.It's worth noting that John Martin has never said he didn't make the changes.
I'm pretty sure, that's exactly what happened.Martin holds all the "evidence," because he holds the manuscripts that he altered. Unless he rewrote the poems as "new" manuscripts.
This has never been about any "minor changes." For me, anyway. It hasn't even been about the major changes to the novels and short stories. I don't care about that. To me the stories and novels are like broad brush storytelling, but a poem is a different animal. it's precision surgery, and if you fuck it up, the patient dies.the large changes in the posthumous collections were not made by Bukowski, but some of what we could call minor changes were indeed made by Bukowski...
What for?Seriously, though: any ideas on how to further objectivize your critiques?
So true. Check the stories in the girlie magazine versions against their version in Post Office. But in this case Bukowski did know about it, and he told people to read the mag versions instead of the book version. Remember, the original manuscript for Post Office was almost cut in half, and Bukowski didn't object to this.Also, to weigh in here, there is ample evidence that Martin substantially changed Bukowski's stories .