cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Both versions were written within 4 days. The changes are substantial -and that's an understatement.

Did he also change/revise "The Crunch"? :D It would be interesting to find the draft(s) of that poem to establish who made those changes.

fog.jpg
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
Excellent find. There is certainly no doubt that it was Buk who rewrote this. If anyone can find the original ms of "The Crunch" it is you!
Bill
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
The rewrite of fog is a definite improvement on the first version. the crunch (2) is not, in my opinion, an improvement, and it has no hallmarks of a Bukowski edit.

The first two versions of the crunch make sense - the second version, for book publication, leaving out things that will become dated, like:

wife-swaps
waterbeds
good Columbian​

But the crunch (2) is just change for the sake of change and it stinks of "artistic meddling."

Whenever John Martin stuck his limp, wannabe writer dick into Bukowski's work, the result was never good. You can see it and feel it - the cheap creative writing class veneer of shit. It's obvious and it's ugly. Like Martin himself.

You know, not that I care.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
You know, I mentioned "The Crunch" just for kicks. I think we discussed that poem at length a while ago. What I was really trying to say is that B. did rewrite way more than it is usually acknowledged. There are many -dozens- of poems at the Huntington where you can see different drafts of the same poem, and the changes are not always minor. This is pretty interesting because you can't find drafts of the same poems in the other Bukowski collections. This alone might justify a trip to the Huntington. You know, if you have the time and the "credentials"...

Who fucked it up, Bukowski, Martin or the bored typist? That would be a cool game. We would upload two or three unsigned drafts of the same poem and then we would have to find out who changed what -I'm pretty sure Martin changed poems Bukowski had already revised. Too bad I didn't copy those poems when I was at the library...
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
Over 1000 posts
Wow, great comparison. It really shows how well he edited. Interesting to see the changes Buk made in the actual "story" of the poem too.
 

Bill Sikes

Over 100 posts
Whenever John Martin stuck his limp, wannabe writer dick into Bukowski's work, the result was never good. You can see it and feel it - the cheap creative writing class veneer of shit. It's obvious and it's ugly. Like Martin himself.
I thought John Martin was the "good guy?" Did Bukowski have any problems with him - or just some readers who knew what was actually going on?
 
B

BicycleTragedy

Actually, I'd really like to hear about this too. I know very little about Martin outside of a couple of references Bukowski made to him in his work; a poem or paragraph here and there, and also the interview clips with him in Born Into This. I had no idea there was anything suspect about him, and I'd like to hear mjp's take.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
Some of us are friends of John Martin's and some are not. I, for one, am a friend and a big fan of his. There is not a bad thing that he has ever done to me, in fact, he has always been great to me.

Others may have had different experiences.

If you want to get the full story, do a search on the site under "john martin". There is a lot of it already here.

Bill
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I'm over my personal beef with Martin, it's ancient history, and it was stupid to begin with. I know a lot of people are very fond of him, and that's lovely.

My problem with him is that he was a publisher who thought he was an editor. And one of Bukowski's problems was that he didn't have a real editor after he quit working with Jon Webb. Whenever you read criticism of Bukowski saying he "published too much," that's all down to not having a competent editor.

Martin thinks it's funny, I'm told, that people even care about changes to Bukowski's work. But the real joke is that he thought he was qualified to change a word. He clearly was not, and his attitude that "it doesn't matter anyway" tells you everything you need to know about him and his relationship to - and respect for - Bukowski's work.

Great publisher. Wonderful. Really built something substantial out of nothing. And I'm sure that as a human being the sun shines brightly right out of his ass. He just wasn't an editor. Though he played one on TV.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
You're right about Jon Webb, and that is something most people don't know. Webb rejected MANY Bukowski poems until he got the good stuff, and he (Webb) did the same thing with many Beat authors who submitted subpar material to The Outsider. An editor with guts for sure.

Webb did change things in B's poetry, too, especially four-lettered words. At first he asked B. if he agreed with those changes -and B. always did- but then he just made those changes without his asking B. about them.

And it's true that Bukowski was published too much, even before Martin came along. He was everywhere during the mimeo "revolution" as most little mag editors would publish anything B. sent them. At least, those editors didn't change B's poems.
 

David

Over 500 posts
Just this afternoon I was reading again Bukowski's tribute to Webb, "The Outsider", from Wormwood 45: "Jon told me later that the known writers had tried to place rejected and stale work upon him and that he had to keep insisting to get a vigorous and fresh work. Too many magazines simply print names without content..." Later he calls Webb "the greatest editor since Mencken and Burnett..."
 
B

BicycleTragedy

Martin thinks it's funny, I'm told, that people even care about changes to Bukowski's work. But the real joke is that he thought he was qualified to change a word. He clearly was not, and his attitude that "it doesn't matter anyway" tells you everything you need to know about him and his relationship to - and respect for - Bukowski's work.
Now that is really interesting to me; because I had no idea any of Bukowski's stuff had actually been changed; I was under the admittedly somewhat naive impression that Martin strictly printed what Buk wrote; as in literally publisher-only. Is there a list of things known to have been altered by Martin, text-wise? I'll have to find that thread Bospress was referring to...
 
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