Supposedly small changes here, but notice the difference in "he was so ashamed that he/left his house in the morning" and the Martinized "he'd be so ashamed that he'd/leave the house in the morning." This mucks it up because originally is has the typically Buk direct and active "he was" and "he left" and changes to "he'd be" and "he'd leave." Why?
And then second stanza:
"I liked the man next door:"
Typically clear direct Buk gets changed to
"me,
I liked the man next door"
WHY?
And
"Goethe, Hegel, Kierkegaard
Nietzsche, Rilke, Frued [sic]"
gets changed to
"Nietzsche, Freud"
WHAT HAPPENED TO RILKE

These changes make absolutely no sense. Completely random and senseless.

I just noticed he even changes the year! Original: "in Los Angeles in 1931" to "in Los Angeles in 1930"

father.jpg
 

mjp

Founding member
Only one person can answer the "why" question, and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that answer.

All we can do is point out the changes. The damage has been done.

---

And please start new threads for these. You have been tagging examples of published poems onto a thread in the unpublished/uncollected forum, and that fucks up the Feng Shui around here.
 

cirerita

Founding member
We all know M. changed B.'s poetry, and M. admitted as much when I last interviewed him. Problem is, we don't know which poems did he change. It's simply too easy -but unsound- to claim all changes were M's doing. Untill all typescripts are made available, it's all pure speculation. If B. wrote crappy poems -and we all know he did- I just can't understand why he couldn't make crappy changes or edits as well.
 

mjp

Founding member
If that's the case, why is it that the most glaring and obvious bad changes all seem to be in books released after Bukowski was conveniently dead and buried? Why is the soprano comforted after Bukowski is dead, but fucked when he is alive?

Which leads to the question, do you think Bukowski spent his final years revising already published poems or writing new poems?

And why did Martin respond so vehemently to the manuscripts being on this site? Was he afraid they cut into his sales? No. They didn't. Was he afraid that people would start connecting the dots and question the changes? Gee, I don't know. I suppose you'd have to be crazy to believe that. Right?

And finally, I am seeing what is, for lack of a better term, a grammatical pattern here in these posthumous edits (I'm sure I'm not alone), and it is not a pattern that appears in any Bukowski manuscripts. So either he changed his style and his work habits, or someone other than him changed most of these poems.

That's an obvious conclusion to me, as a writer myself and as someone who has read more than my share of Bukowski's published work and manuscripts. The conclusion does not fill me with joy. In fact, it makes me very sad. And it brings me no joy to point out these idiotic changes. But if they don't come out here, then where?

Let me make it clear, I am not complaining about professional edits. I am complaining about ham-fisted, pointless tampering.

Of course everyone will draw their own conclusions. I'm going to keep talking about mine. And not just here in the forum.

:rolleyes:
 
Yes, I agree and I thought about that. There's no way to know for sure. Maybe Buk and Martin talked by phone after the poem was sent out. There's no way to know what happened after the MSS left his typewriter. All we can do is guess, based on the whole history of his poetry and his general "stylistic tendencies." There are some things, however, that he was pretty regular about--especially using active verbs and subject-verb-object syntax, like Hemingway. And poets--Whitman, Auden, Lowell,Yeats etc--they all changed their published poetry AFTER it was published, sometimes making changes that some readers think were inferior to the original. So I don't believe in some PURE text, or PERFECT text by any means. But the evidence would suggest some or many of these changes were foisted on Buk post fact0. The only question to be proved now is whether it is closer to "some" than "many." I've just started to look into this, so I have no idea which one it is--I'm a bit concerned however that it might be "many"....
 

cirerita

Founding member
I doubt it very much that B. revised old poems, but he could revise the same poem 2-3 times shortly after he wrote it and then send the different versions to M. If M. published those different (old) versions posthumously, it could easily give the impression that M. changed those poems -but it was B. who actually changed them, and M. happened to publish the edited versions 30-40 years later.

Of course M. changed B's poems. We just don't know for sure which ones, that's all I'm saying. And I'm glad the different versions are being made public. I'm the first one who would love to see a posthumous edition of unraped poems -but that doesn't mean that all those shitty edits were M's doing.
 

mjp

Founding member
...a text-critical edition...
What does that mean?
And poets--Whitman, Auden, Lowell,Yeats etc--they all changed their published poetry AFTER it was published, sometimes making changes that some readers think were inferior to the original. So I don't believe in some PURE text, or PERFECT text by any means.
I'm not suggesting that there is a perfect text.
But the evidence would suggest some or many of these changes were foisted on Buk post facto.
That is what I'm suggesting. Or rather, pointing out. I think it's beyond suggestion.
 
"text-critical editions" = scholarly transcriptions of original MS, often with comparisons/concordances setting the original text against the previously published versions. Sort of stuff that arouses James Joyce academics.....
 

mjp

Founding member
Ah, I see. I think that would be quite an undertaking for Bukowski's work, but a lot of us would like to see it done.

I wouldn't hazard a guess as to who would have final say over that kind of project, but I would assume it would be Linda.
 
"text-critical editions"
As you know, I've always claimed for a critical / historic-critical edition and am sure, there will be one one day.

But I don't think this'll happen during the lifetime of L.B. or J.M.

By the way: I always thought, the last word - once a critical edition is started - doesn't have the estate, but the findings of the academic research. (Which would be an academic board.) The reason is obvious: The only entitlement for such an edition is, to finally get the 'true' text (or as close as possible), which means, 'politics' shouldn't be able to interfere.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Problem is, academic research on B. is virtually nil. If you take a look at the Proquest or Ebsco databases, you'll find there are 5-6 articles on Bukowski in the last 20 years. I wouldn't hold my breath for an academic/critical edition of the Unraped Collection of Bukowski's Poetry to be released any time soon.
 
Ah, I see. I think that would be quite an undertaking for Bukowski's work, but a lot of us would like to see it done.
I wouldn't hazard a guess as to who would have final say over that kind of project, but I would assume it would be Linda.

Perhaps this question has been ask before but where is Linda's input in all these Martinesque vagaries with Buk's poetry postmortem? Would certainly have thought she'd care to take notice and a bit of a public pissing would be evident. For awhile I thought all this Martin nonsense was relatively new for mjp to bitch about but looking back at older threads (and I mean older - early 2006) I see where Martin's fucking around was already duly noted. Could be Buk wouldn't hate you afterall. :) < I hate the new smileys, bring back the old ones.
 

mjp

Founding member
I thought all this Martin nonsense was relatively new for mjp to bitch about...
It's only been recently that some of us have really been comparing the manuscripts or first publications to the BSP collection versions. That probably has to do with the relatively recent availability of all the poetry collections in electronic form making those kinds of comparisons easier to do. So if you notice more bitching lately, that would be the reason. At least it's my reason.

As for Linda, not to put too fine a point on it, but she wouldn't know that something's been changed. [Snarky reason for why that's the case removed. - ed.]

I agree with Abel in that publication of a definitive critical examination of the poetry is unlikely. At least in the foreseeable future. It's going to be up to the unwashed masses (us) to present that here in the ether-web somehow. But it's a tricky and difficult proposition, for both legal and technical reasons, because doing it properly would involve digitizing all available printed versions of the work. To imagine what would be involved in that, go to the nearest beach and start putting sand into a 50 gallon drum. One grain at a time. Don't forget to polish each grain before you drop it into the barrel. When you're finished, come back and we'll have it all worked out.

Honestly, I don't think most people, including the majority of "fans" of Bukowski's work, consider these editorial changes to be an important subject. Remember that you are dealing with a very different animal around here. Most of the freaks in the world who would care are right here, and look around - there aren't many of us. Most people are going to say, "Well, yeah, Martin was the editor dummy, he was supposed to edit." And in a sense they are right. But that doesn't make the current reality any less ugly or painful.
 
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[...] I don't think most people, including the majority of "fans" of Bukowski's work, consider these editorial changes to be an important subject. [...]
You don't need "most people" to get this done, only the right people. In this case it would be the academic entourage. They don't even necessarily need to be 'fans' of Bukowski - just realizing that he's an important literary voice. The Huntington is one of the biggest players in this so far. I see more to come in the next decades.
 
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