machines (1 Viewer)

As many of us ourselves might be doing some writing - lets take a second to consider the "tools" and the physical process...and also, what exactly WAS Buks process. Did he revise much? Did he worry about spelling/typos? did HE do it or did someone else?

And as all this refers to the art of writing: has the computer made it easier? Is easier better?

I'm no pro, mind you, I have an art/trade/profession, but my better stacks of written matter were done on a manual machine...AFTER handwriting the original on unlined paper (usually in a sketchbook). The computer allows too much room for changes/edit, hell, I bet I've killed more things than I've saved with this damned cyber-apparatus. Any thoughts.

I had two portable Olympia manuals that I tossed in the dumpster in a fit of rage when I could no longer find ribbons for them (I could have looked harder...and the whiskey made me doi, anyway). I miss them dearly...and presently have a poor relationship with the computer.
I read in one of his poems that he wrote a lot more after he got his computer.
I am sure that someone around here will have a much better answer, but that was my 2 grams.:cool:
I believe his wife Linda gave him the gift of a word processor. He writes about fearing he will lose his soul to the machine, but as he got used to it he began to really enjoy writing on the computer. He complained he lost some work by pushing the wrong button and POOF it was all gone. Before getting the computer he liked the machine-gun tap tap tap of the typewriter. He revised alot of his poems quite heavily. [There's a thread about this topic]. I've only seen a few manuscripts of prose which aren't as heavily revised in general as the poems I've seen.
I believe he worried about his spelling. There are lots of spelling corrections in the MSS.
I don't think he wrote by hand very often.
So, it seems towards the end of his life he was shifting fairly completely to the computer from the typewriter.
And I think he associated the typewriter with a sort of Romantic conception of writing inspired perhaps by Hemingway, Saroyan, maybe e. e. cummings. Where would e.e. have been without typographic play?
As to revisions:

1) Check the manuscript section of this site;
2) Procure a first edition paperback copy of Women and compare it to every subsequent version. That's J. Martin editing.
3) Many poems appeared in magazines/periodicals and re-appeared later in Black Sparrow publications with minor or major revisions. Sometimes the titles changed and the poems changed very little or very much. Check the "Unpublished and Uncollected" portion of this site for some threads that discuss this. Some of the editing was probably Buk, other editing was probably JM.

As for machines, check the timeline section of this site for what he was working on from year to year.
Thanks, yeah Cummings was quite a sculptor with his words...his way with type, it was his content...his contribution...possibly it was at issue with any narrative. But I guess he didnt care about narrative too much.

But the "flow" is SO important in writing. Often it seems that revision is second-guessing, and as you go back into something you , even as the writer, are coming back as an is it possible that too many changes might bring about something new?, and not hold true to the chain of thoughts that put those marks down? Buk's strengths lie in his ability to be talking "straight" bullshit (or when it IS bullshit, its over-the-top enough that succeeds by its bombast).

If he was a revisionist, then he was a hell of a lot better than I ever thought...because its so easy to spot writing thats been "worked" to death. (got to keep an eye on those writer/perfessers).
I have an old Royal typewriter from the late 40s, in it's original case.
I've belted out some good poems on it, but they weren't nearly as good as the ones I've composed on the computer, imo.
They just sound a bit different. I'm possibly the only one that could decipher this difference since I'm the one who wrote it, but..

The organic process of punching out a poem is charming and ultimately satisfying if you got 'the word' down in one exhalation.

As far as getting it down on the computer, it's not quite as exhilarating, since the temptation of revising what you just wrote, is unbearably higher since it's easier, than revising it on a big 'ole beast of a machine, which requires you to slide the roller back to the exact spot, 'x' it out, and start again, etc..
At least for me is is.

I don't know if easier is better. But I don't know if spitting out a poem on the typewriter without having the tendency to revise or edit, is any better either.

I think the key is to find a perfect medium to work within both worlds.
The computer has it's advantages, as does the manual one.
I think everyone utilizes a different faculty of their writing minds when it comes to the typewriter vs. the computer.

Same thing applies with people who prefer recording their music on analog, reel to reel tapes, as opposed to sketching out their work in some portable digital device that develops the sound for you, with one push of a button.
Musically speaking, I like to slave for the sound I want to achieve(i'm an analog lover btw)
Anyway, completely beside the point, I apologize...

With that being said, if I were forced to chose, I guess I would have to go with what I'm writing on right now.

As far as Buk's methods of writing are concerned, good question, I don't know!
I would love to know though.
He did, however, write A LOT more, prolifically, on the computer as opposed to the typewriter, or I've heard.
He wrote dozens of poems in regards to this, I just can't seem to think what book they were included in.

Now, writing in long another story.

Scribbler, the flow of writing is VERY important, but sometimes the flow can be misleading though.
What you think is great at that specific junction in time, may not be so great when you read it later on.

I've written some poems that had great fluidity to them, and read them a few weeks later and could barely even put myself back in the poem because of how uncomfortably wordy it was when I wrote it.
I revised, revised and revised until I got it down.
Sometimes you have to disembowel the poem, gut it, yank out the needless crap, and patch it back up, for it to sound the way you want it to sound.

So, it doesn't necessarily mean that getting your original thoughts down, the 'chain of thoughts' is going to be any better than the 34th draft of it.

I find that I'm barely able to put myself back in the poem to re-experience everything that I experienced durting that time of creation.
If I do, I try to edit more than revise.
But sometimes revision is exactly what is needed.
To stitch up some holes and to tear some new ones on your way out.
very good Stallion...totally makes sense. Theres a purist in me that wishes things to represent a any cost. But rawness is not always satisfying. Bukowski has given liscence to seemingly unpolished writing styles...but when you look at HIS...most of it couldn't have been better. So if there was polishing going didnt ruin the poem.

If you've ever hit a baseball outta the'll recall that each blast of your finger on a manual typer feels like THAT. Solid, driven, mission accomplished. The computer makes me feel like Pee Wee Reese, not Mickey Mantle.
I'm kinda new to the writing game (other than song lyrics and bad poems scratched down on napkins), but so far, I've only used a computer. I couldn't imagine not being able to cut and paste/delete whole sections at a time--move things around without getting out the scissors and glue. The only down-side I would say is during the editing process--have to print it out on paper to get a true sense of what I put on the screen, but again, the computer helps because sometimes, just changing the font or the format reveals a whole new God-damned world or typos and errors.

You have to admire the guys who did/do it the old-school way. It seems you had to get it as close to perfect as you could--right out of the gate. I think that shows in their writing.
If you take a look at Steve Richmond's poetry, most of his stuff seems like it was belted out in one long blast of a cocaine rampage.
I don't think he did much of editing OR revising or cared to have had anyone proofing it.
I like some of his material, but some of it I was wondering where the hell the editor was the whole time, as some of his poems got rather redundant.

Anyway, yeah, I feel much more of a powerhouse on the typewriter than I do gently tap dancing on the keyboard.
As far as Buk's methods of writing are concerned, good question, I don't know!
I would love to know though.
He did, however, write A LOT more, prolifically, on the computer as opposed to the typewriter, or I've heard.
He wrote dozens of poems in regards to this, I just can't seem to think what book they were included in.

He switched from an IBM Selectric to a Macintosh in January 1991. So, as far as more prolific goes, I don't know about that.

There are a few poems about using the Mac in the posthumous publications, but even in The Last Night... (1992) he writes about using the IBM (Sitting with the IBM, page 223).
This thread makes me think of Kerouac's On The Road.

*Kerouac typed the manuscript on what he called the scroll:a continuous, one hundred twenty-foot scroll of tracing paper sheets that he cut to size and taped together. The roll was typed single-spaced, without margins or paragraph breaks.

No computer. But I have nothing against writing on computers, as I am doing write now - ; )

However, can't imagine not having knowledge of JK's book "” how it was scribed...and what a great collectible it is today.

*The legend of how Kerouac wrote On The Road excludes the tedious organization and preparation preceding the creative explosion. Kerouac carried small notebooks, in which much of the text was written as the eventful seven-year span of road trips unfurled. He furthermore revised the scroll's text several times before Malcolm Cowley, of Viking Press, agreed to publish it. Besides the differences in formatting, the original scroll manuscript contained real names and was longer than the published novel. Kerouac deleted sections (including some sexual depictions deemed pornographic in 1957) and added smaller literary passages.


homeless mind

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very good Pax, I do believe that the initial physical manner of getting the story onto paper has a profound effect upon its outcome. All changes thereafter - as the thing gets "fitted" for consumption, is perhaps a compromise. So how does an author best preserve the original power of his leaking mind? Because its very fragile, that story, and something so small as a synonym might shatter it to pieces.

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