The Mystery of the Great Writer in Bed (1 Viewer)

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
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Anyone have Wormwood Review No. 42 (Vol.11, No.2) 1971?

Would you please check a poem from page 65, 'The Great Writer'.

(It may be called 'The Mystery of the Great Writer in Bed' or even just 'A Great Writer').

Anyhow, please compare it to 'a great writer' as collected in 'The People Look Like Flowers At Last' (page 288) and 'The Pleasures of the Damned' (page 228).

I've been listening to the Nola tapes (a.k.a. King of Poets) and a version of this poem is read there as 'The Mystery of the Great Writer in Bed'.

If someone would be good enough to check the Wormwood poem title and confirm if it is the same / a very similar peom or completely different.

Thanks in advance folks.

As collected:-

a great writer
a great writer remains in bed​
shades down​
doesn't want to see anyone​
doesn't want to write anymore​
doesn't want to try anymore;​
the editors and publishers wonder:​
some say he's insane​
some say he's dead;​
his wife now answers all the mail:​
". . . he does not wish to . . ."​
and some others even walk up and down​
outside his house,​
look at the pulled-down​
shades;​
some even go up and ring the​
bell.​
nobody answers.​
the great writer does not want to be​
disturbed. perhaps the great writer is not​
in? perhaps the great writer has gone​
away?​

but they all want to know the truth,​
to hear his voice, to be told some good​
reason for it all.​

if he has a reason​
he does not reveal it.​
perhaps there isn't any​
reason?​

strange and disturbing arrangements are​
made; his books and paintings are quietly​
auctioned off;​
no new work has appeared now for​
years.​

yet his public won't accept his​
silence-​
if he is dead​
they want to know; if he is​
insane they want to know; if he has a​
reason, please tell us!​

they walk past his house​
write letters​
ring the bell​
they cannot understand and will not​
accept​
the way things are.​

I rather like​
it.​
 
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cirerita

Founding member
WR 42:

the great writer

the great writer in bed
shades down
doesn't want to see them
doesn't want to write anymore
doesn't want to try anymore;
the editors talk about him--

I think this is the one in The People... (collected as "a great writer"). Funny thing, there's a poem titled "the great writer" in Slouching... which is an altogether different poem, of course.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Thanks. Yes, I saw the one from Slouching was written in 92.

The timing made it likely that the one from WR42 would be the one read for the Nola tapes.

Thanks for checking cirerita.

So there's a database fix for you mjp:-

http://bukowski.net/database/detail.php?WorkNumber=3177

http://bukowski.net/database/detail.php?WorkNumber=4270

The poem you have as 'The Great Writer' from WR42 was collected (with changes*) as 'A Great Writer' in 'The People Look Like Flowers At Last' (p.289) and 'The Pleasures of the Damned' (p.228).

The poem 'The Great Writer' from 'Slouching Toward Nirvana' - p. 246 is a separate item.

* I'm supposing the WR version is closer to the recorded version than it is to the version collected in the 2 late books.
 

mjp

Founding member
Fixed.
I'm supposing the WR version is closer to the recorded version than it is to the version collected in the 2 late books.
You don't have to suppose. I can say it's fact without even seeing the specific Wormwood.

Slogging through a thousand poems and seeing that every time - without fail - they are intact in Wormwood and utterly and totally fucked in a posthumous BSP/Ecco book sort of removes all doubt.

And every day I lean further back toward THE TRAGIC RAPE as the only reasonable way to present this. Because it is not an exaggeration.
 
I was wondering about this--are you checking the intermediary publications of each item which has been altered from MSS like the "woman in the supermarket" from the PBA auction which is mangled in the What Matters Most Martinized version, but there is a subsequent printing of the poem in NYQ which I haven't seen. So does this mean that they are different from the manuscript AS WELL as any subsequent publication? You probably have talked about this somewhere...
 

cirerita

Founding member
David,

mag publications usually preceded book publication, and the mag versions were usually verbatim copies of B.'s submissions, typos and all.
 

mjp

Founding member
are you checking the intermediary publications of each item which has been altered from MSS [...] ?
Speaking for myself, I'm not interested in the magazine versions. As cirerita points out, those editors rarely made any changes (on purpose, anyway).

This subject interests me only as far as Martin and BSP are concerned. Whether a poem was altered in some 40 year old magazine that no one will ever see doesn't matter.
 
OK, that's what I wanted to know. So "woman in the supermarket" should be changed on your list to "differs from collected version" since it's been thoroughly fucked up in the What Matters Martinized Version.
 

mjp

Founding member
"woman in the supermarket" should be changed on your list to "differs from collected version"...
Don't take this the wrong way, because I have a lot of respect for you and what you do -- but you are talking about a large, complex relational database with 14,495 records (at the moment) in 13 different tables, not a list.

When you diminish the years of work that went into it by calling it a list, you make me want to climb up onto your breakfast table and piss in your cornflakes. Just saying. Remember, I love you, but if you call it a list again, I will kill you without hesitation or remorse. Okay, I'm glad we cleared that up. I feel better. I hope you do too.

The poem you mention will be flagged as differing from the manuscript when the manuscript is added to the database. There is a process that has to be followed or everything falls apart. In my brain anyway. I can't deal with too much information at one time. I think there was mercury in my fillings when I was a kid or something.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
As a database analyst, I can appreciate your annoyance at calling it a list. I work with about a dozen databases containing hundreds of table and hundred of thousands of records, and although they are relational, understanding the data and how all the bits relate to each other is a nightmare because it all keeps changing daily.
 

mjp

Founding member
Yeah, testify database administrator!

Looking at what I wrote now though, perhaps I overreacted a teeny bit. ;)

But reducing the database to "a list" is kind of like someone calling a number of books someone researched and edited over the span of several years, "those cut and paste pamphlet things..."

Now everyone knows how to make me lose my mind, so I probably shouldn't have said anything.
 

cirerita

Founding member
But reducing the database to "a list" is kind of like someone...
...saying in a disdainful tone to a, huh, bibliographer who has researched for too many years, "hey, you missed a magazine" that no one has ever seen. :wb:
 

mjp

Founding member
Or like saying Krumhansl missed this...

download.jpg
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Yeah, testify database administrator! [...]"

Now everyone knows how to make me lose my mind, so I probably shouldn't have said anything.

Thanks, but technically I'm not a database administrator. Note I used the odd term "database analyst." That's because I'm half way between a database admin and a research analyst. More analyst than administrator. Boring either way, I know. I'd rather spend my days writing those cut and paste pamphlet thingies. If I was independently wealthy.
 

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