Factotum typescript – third draft, heavily revised (1 Viewer)

Maybe you guys saw this one and didn’t think much of it, but I’d never seen anything quite like it come on the market before, so I thought I’d post it here for posterity and for anyone who missed it.

Sotheby’s had this typescript of Factotum up for auction last month as part of the Maurice Neville Collection of Modern Literature. Neville was a book dealer / collector who apparently knew Bukowski personally (the photo is of Buk drinking with Neville and his wife).

Here are the pertinent descriptive details of the typescript taken from Sotheby’s listing:
  • Approximately 230 pages (11 x 8 1/2 in.; 279 x 216 mm), typescript and carbon typescript with extensive additions, emendations and deletions mostly in black and red ink, and with additional typed passages taped to several leaves, [Los Angeles, c. 1973–75]; condition generally very good. In manila folder with typed label reading "FACTOTUM / Charles Bukowski / THIRD DRAFT".
  • This heavily reworked typescript is inscribed and signed twice by Bukowski to Maurice Neville on the title leaf, Bukowski has drawn a picture of himself standing with a woman, a dog, a bottle, and a tree and with a bird flying toward the sun; beneath this, he has written, "To Maurie Neville — and this novel I finished. Ah, Victory!"
  • Almost every page of this remarkable typescript has been revised. Some pages, in fact contain more manuscript revisions than typescript. Bukowski's revisions are in black ink and are clear and legible; copyediting is in red ink and pencil. The manuscript includes several notes to John Martin. In one dated December 1974, Bukowski (signing himself "Henry," after his alter-ego) writes, "Hello Big John — More of the novel. For some time now I've had some great self-doubts on this novel, but as it keeps unrolling, I begin to see the reason, the laughter and the big jellyroll under the moon." At the bottom of the note, he includes a caricature self-portrait with dog. Included with the typescript is a manila envelope addressed by Bukowski to Martin; on the verso is a note in pencil: "John — (Note tire marks) This was lost in street for 4 hours — It fell off my hood when I started my car & drove off. Ta, ta. Buk."
$50,000 – 70,000 USD was Sotheby’s estimate for the typescript, so perhaps it’s not surprising that it went unsold. Maybe if Basquiat had written it instead of Bukowski . . . .







Buk & Maurice Neville.jpg

Pogue Mahone

Officials say drugs may have played a part
I saw it, but quickly erased it from my mind because it was way out of my league. Very cool though, thanks for posting it!

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