So you want to be a writer?

mjp

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#3
I can do better than that -- I'll give you 100 paperclips every month for life!




...or for as long as you are moderator here.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#4
I guess you must be bringing home what, about 400 clips each month?

Well I don't really need too much. I guess with maybe 35 clips for my landlord, 20 for the grocery clerk, 5 for the gas company, 15 for the liquor store, 10 for the phone company and maybe 15 for the wife and kids I can probably make it work. Okay, you gots a deal!
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
#7
Holy Baby Jesus -- the first version, as written by Bukowski, is so much better. Somebody's "revisions" are so clumsy, and unnecessary, it's a crime. It's pretty clear there must be a restored edition of all Bukowski works, based on original manuscripts in Bukowski's hand/from his typewriter, undoing the editorial "improvements."
 

mjp

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#8
"Unnecessary" is the entire problem here, as I see it. Editors are supposed to edit, but when I look at shit like:

unless it comes unasked out of your
heart

(and the bulk of the other changes, frankly) I just have to wonder what sort of imbecile thought that was an improvement. The rhythm is gone, the language is gone. The thing has been run through a SANTA BARBARA SHIT MACHINE and spit out onto the cheap pages of an Ecco approximation of Bukowski.

The tragedy - and it is a tragedy - is that people will read that and think that Bukowski wrote it. That Bukowski was an imbecile and a pedestrian, unimaginative writer. Well, a lot of people already believe that. But things like this don't help. And unfortunately, when we're through here there will be hundreds of other examples of the very same thing.

I started to keep a list of the titles that I thought were really, obviously negatively impacted by changes (like this one), but I stopped because the list was getting to be too long. Just pick a changed poem at random and you'll find at least one thing that makes you want to cry.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#9
is the idea of someone/anyone approaching "the editor" directly and broaching the topic
completely unrealistic?

i mean, this is really serious in terms of bukowski's artistic reputation and legacy.
 

mjp

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#10
Approaching THE EDITOR would not fix anything, and I really doubt that it would settle anything.

Remember that THE EDITOR lied to Bukowski about the changes made to Women, and tried to shift the blame to someone else, and whenever THE EDITOR is presented with some discrepancy or error he shrugs it off as unimportant.

Whether Martin made these changes personally or not (the consistent tone and style of the changes suggests that he did), he was/is THE EDITOR. It's his name on the books, so he bears the final responsibility. Regardless of where the shit was introduced, the changes are all absolutely Martin's fault/responsibility. To which I suspect he would say, "So what?"

In terms of his legacy this is going to be a difficult obstacle to overcome. There are now more poetry collections containing bastardized work out there than those that are more faithful to the original writing. I don't know if that is something that can be remedied with an article or a web site. As the scope of this problem becomes more apparent, I am becoming less and less confident that anything we do here will make a difference.
 
#12
In the future, I would appreciate it if my name were left out of this cluster-fuck of a train-wreck. :amb:

I've always thought that my name was rather drab; not enough syllables, you know? But no big deal (although I have received 25-40% discounts from booksellers on Buk books by innocently adding my name to the end of an e-mail - they've honored them even when I explained).

Now I see that it's transiently associated with a destroyer of art.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
#13
I don't know if that is something that can be remedied with an article or a web site.
No, it can't be remedied completely, but it can be remedied to some extent by letting all the people who visit Buknet know about it. Then at least all the serious Buk nuts will know about it and they'll probably spread it by word of mouth, and on the net too, every time they get the chance when somebody starts talking about the posthumous collections.

The posthumous collections are already out there, but hopefully, some day some publisher will want to publish the unedited poems. It will certainly be worthwhile publishing them from a business point of view.

In the future, I would appreciate it if my name were left out of this cluster-fuck of a train-wreck.
PS, what you need is a new name. What about Martin Johnson? :rolleyes:
 
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Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
#15
mjp -- this is very important work you're doing, identifying these idiotic changes. It's a miracle anyone still likes Bukowski's work, given the sloppy, inept nature of the changes. Somehow, he has survived this assault, but readers need to know about it and demand the damage be undone.
 

mjp

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#16
Thanks, but this is not a solo act. A lot of people here have done a lot of work to make the database as complete and as accurate as possible, and that work is ongoing.

Also, I'm making a first pass through the manuscripts, fixing errors and whatnot, and flagging the changed poems, but someone else, or a few someone else's, are also going to have to do comparisons when I'm finished if we want to present this as more than just the ravings of a lone jerkoff with an axe to grind. Unfortunately, it would be easy for the people who currently control Bukowski's work to dismiss me as "that guy who's always been a pain in the ass."

So this is going to be something that everyone here contributes to in one way or another. The technical database work and changes to the way things are presented in the database results is just ditch digging.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
#18
[...] "that guy who's always been a pain in the ass." [...]
well, ... that's what you ARE.

[...]there must be a restored edition of all Bukowski works, based on original manuscripts [...]
That's exactly what 'critical editions' are for.

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I was just about to google a little to make my point clear by using quotes about the importance of the Colli/Montinari-edition of Nietzsches works, I always use to bother you guys with - when I had to realize: In the US, you DON'T EVEN HAVE a Nietzsche-edition based on this one!!! (Now I know, why everyone was always ignoring my mentioning of it!)

It's a work in progress and only 3 [!] volumes have been published on that basis so far! The STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS is working on it now.

Here's an interesting quote to sum it up:

Van A. Harvey of Stanford University puts the work into perspective:
"The Colli-Montinari critical edition of Nietzsche's works is one of the most important works of scholarship in the humanities in the last quarter century. It was not until after World War II that one began to realize the extent to which Nietzsche's notebooks had been tampered with, jumbled, badly deciphered, and poorly edited, and it was not until the Colli-Montinari edition that scholars could be confident for the first time of having a trustworthy text," explains Harvey. The UW project will now make that resource available in English.

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Additional background (just for the Nietzsche-freaks) comes from an article about the so called 'Will to power':

Colli and Montinari research

While researching materials for the Italian translation of Nietzsche's complete works in the 1960s, philologists Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari decided to go to the Archives in Leipzig to work with the original documents. From their work emerged the first complete and chronological edition of Nietzsche's posthumous fragments, which Färster-Nietzsche had cut up, mixed and pasted together, according to her own antisemitic views (which were a source of contention between her and Nietzsche himself). The complete works comprise 5,000 pages, compared to the 3,500 pages of the Großoktavausgabe. In 1964, during the International Colloquium on Nietzsche in Paris, Colli and Montinari met Karl Läwith, who would put them in contact with Heinz Wenzel, editor for Walter de Gruyter's publishing house. Heinz Wenzel would buy the rights of the complete works of Colli and Montinari (33 volumes in German) after the French Gallimard edition and the Italian Adelphi editions.

Before Colli and Montinari's philological work, the previous editions led readers to believe that Nietzsche had organized all his work toward a final structured opus called The Will to Power. In fact, if Nietzsche did consider producing such a book, he had abandoned such plans in the months before his collapse. The title of The Will to Power, which appears for the first time at the end of the summer of 1885, was replaced by another plan at the end of August 1888. This new plan was titled "Attempt at a revaluation of all values" [Versuch einer Umwerthung aller Werthe],[3] and ordered the multiple fragments in a completely different way than the one chosen by Elisabeth Färster-Nietzsche.

In fact, according to Montinari, the earlier editions, which all depended on the Großoktavausgabe, are technically nonsense, as Nietzsche's fragments were cut up in various places and ordered according to his sister's will; and are a case of revisionism, as it was left to his sister to artificially combine Nietzsche's fragments into a unified opus magnum (a concept, in itself, alien to Nietzsche's philosophy and style of writing), whose meaning was distorted according to Elisabeth Färster-Nietzsche's anti-semitic and Germanist biases. Gilles Deleuze himself saluted Montinari's work declaring:

"As long as it was not possible for the most serious researcher to accede to the whole of Nietzsche's manuscripts, we knew only in a loose way that the Will to Power did not exist as such (...) We wish only now that the new dawn brought on by this previously unpublished work will be the sign of a return to Nietzsche" [4]

Not only did this critical philological work, a milestone in Nietzsche studies, prove case-by-case the distortions accomplished by Nietzsche's sister on his posthumous fragments, it also called into question the very conception of a Nietzschean magnum opus, given his style of writing and thinking.[5]
 
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mjp

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#19
Revisionism! Oh, there's a word I will steal.

But that is also depressing information. They have known about that for more than 50 years, and as you pointed out, we still don't have those critical editions here. It would seem that most people are happy with the status quo, regardless of accuracy.

That, or academia is unwilling to adapt to new information.

Or both.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
Over 1000 posts
#20
I think this one pisses me off more than a lot of the others because I freakin' love this poem and... the changes are awful and I don't think I'll be able to read the original without noticing the clumsy, inane changes now...

Ugh.
 
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