The neutering of prose by Martin when Bukowski was alive

Based on these corrections, we should make a decent pdf out of it and print it. It would be a fucking revelation compared to what had been published.
 
Fantastic work David!!!
Thanks a lot!

Next, I'll have to have a look into my Buk-books from his lifetime to see which ones I've marked "good" or "great" and which didn't get me from the first encounter. (Like the posthumous poetry-books which I disliked from the start, way before we found out why.)
 
Maybe especially after the Women episode. [...] "That'll teach him. He won't do that again," and I spend even less time poring over galleys. [...]
in a letter to Weissner back then he stated he'd have a CLOSER look on Martin's edits now.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Great work, David!
Come to think of it, maybe the reason why some of us don't like "Pulp" is because it may have been thoroughly "Martinized". :wb:
Seriously, It starts to look like most, if not all, of Buk's prose and poems have been more or less "edited". What a crying shame! :(
 

mjp

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most, if not all, of Buk's prose and poems have been more or less "edited"
The poetry published while he was alive is almost all intact.

Any changes I've found so far (during close comparison of about 500 poems) have been minor. Some look like transcription mistakes rather than editing. I still have more than 1000 manuscripts left to compare, so I'll let you know how that pans out when I'm finished. In about 15 years.

But just in the past few months I've compared about 300 manuscripts to the published versions, covering 1975 to 1980, and of those manuscripts maybe a dozen that were published while Bukowski was alive looked like they were intentionally changed. And those changes do not include the kinds of things we see in the posthumous changes: that is, removal of references to drinking, drugs and other unsavory activities. They just look like sloppy editing.

It certainly doesn't seem like that was the case for the prose though. But it remains to be seen if anything was left unmolested there. It doesn't look like it based on what David is saying, but I don't know how many he's compared (and no one will believe you until you have a mountain of examples, and even then most of them won't believe you).

And not to be contentious, but comparing the published weeklies to the book versions isn't really the same as comparing manuscripts to published versions. We know the manuscripts we Bukowski's intent at the time he typed them (and yes he did revise and re-use poems often - but in revising them he didn't change the intent of the poems). You can't really say the same for the weeklies, because there's an added variable in those with the publishers, transcriptionists, etc. Another layer between what Bukowski wrote and what Martin published.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
My mistake! I should´nt have included the poems published while he was still alive since we know they weren't edited as such, except for minor editings he himself made. However, the prose seems to have been edited, judging from David's examples. Of course, it could be Bukowski himself revised the stories from the weeklies before they were published in book form, but if too many references to drinking, drugs and such were removed then there's a good chance Martin had a hand in it. The only way to find out would be too find a lot of such examples and that would take a lot of work. As far as the novels goes, it´ll be difficult to find out how much of them have been edited since we don't have the manuscripts.
Any changes I've found so far (during close comparison of about 500 poems) have been minor. Some look like transcription mistakes rather than editing. I still have more than 1000 manuscripts left to compare, so I'll let you know how that pans out when I'm finished. In about 15 years.
1000 more? Wow! Well, I think you´ve already compared enough for us to say that only the poems published posthumously have been heavily edited (to put it nicely).
 
The poetry published while he was alive is almost all intact.
On your 'Vote!' list are two collections of poetry that had been published posthumously, Betting on the Muse and The Pleasures of the Damned.
Does that mean these two collections are fairly undamaged (from a present-day perspective)?
 

mjp

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Betting on the Muse and The Pleasures of the Damned.
Betting on the Muse is okay. It was the first posthumous poetry collection, so I assume it was "edited" when Bukowski was still alive, then published after his death.

Still, we only have (so far) 11 manuscripts for the 127 pieces in that book, so we can't be sure of its integrity. But of the manuscripts we do have, there aren't any that show signs of degradation in the published book.

But for the following poetry collection, Bone Palace Ballet, we have manuscripts for 22 of the 175 pieces, and half of those differ from the published pieces.

As each successive book came out, we see more changes. Until almost everything is changed. But the important thing isn't the numbers, it's the nature of the changes.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
I made some statistics on Pleasures Of The Damned. It contains 274 poems and 114 of them are from the posthumous collections which is the same as 41.6%. That includes Betting On The Muse and Bone Palace Ballet. If we exclude those two collections we land on 100 poems from the posthumous collections which is the same as 36.5%. Only 19 of the 274 poems are uncollected.
 

mjp

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There are also poems in those grab bag books (Pleasures Of The Damned and Run With the Hunted) that were changed from the original Black Sparrow versions, so it's hard to say what's what. I don't really look at those or count them since they are "greatest hits" packages. But if we did look I think we'd find more...editing.
 

zobraks

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I made some statistics on Pleasures Of The Damned. ... Only 19 of the 274 poems are uncollected.
I believe there are twenty uncollected poems in The Pleasures of the Damned:

- Dark Night Poem
- The Drowning
- The Girl Outside the Supermarket
- Something About a Woman
- Advice for Some Young Man in the Year 2064 A.D.
- Bow Wow Love
- The Veryest
- Elephants in the Zoo
- The Shit Shits
- Verdi
- The Young Lady Who Lives in Canoga Park
- My Fate
- My Atomic Stockpile
- Thoughts from a Stone Bench in Venice
- Starve, Go Mad, or Kill Yourself
- Afternoons into Night
- Coffee and Babies
- Magical Mystery Tour
- Dreaming
- My Special Craving
 
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@mjp Damn Martin might as well just cherry pick lines he likes from every few stanzas, slam them together like a gorilla and a hole punch and call it a Buk poem. Great comparison in the link you provided, though at this point it's hard to tell the true extent of anything.
 
But for the following poetry collection, Bone Palace Ballet, we have manuscripts for 22 of the 175 pieces, and half of those differ from the published pieces.
If I remember correctly, a big amount of the manuscripts pictures I "showed" you came from Bone Palace Ballet. And there was systematic change when it came to mentions of alcohol and sex. So the number would probably be higher.
 

mjp

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One day we'll get those manuscripts (thanks!) into the database and we'll have a better idea. But having more manuscripts won't change anything for the better. Well, it does change things for the better actually, but it can't help those books.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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Many, many thanks for doing this work David.
Despite all the frustration it must be causing you.
 
Sickening. Supposedly Martin was the 'savior' of Buk, to learn he raped his most intimate writings, disgusted.
Is it too much to ask a publisher to publish, as the writer has writ?
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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I remember seeing some examples of JMs neutering of prose i Women online somewhere.
Thought it might be on this site, but can't seem to find the thread.

Can someone point me in the right direction?
I'm writing an article about the butchering of the posthumous poetry collections and need to document what happened to Women.

Anyone?

Many thanks in advance.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
Mucho thanks.
This place is a maze (ing).

I think its important to use the Women case because its the only onu Bukowski commented on himself while at the same time it shows exactly the same type of edits that were applied in the poetry.
 
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And this a good 10 years before Bukowski's death...
In August this year, when Marina and Locklin and Abel and David have been in Berlin, I addressed the subject of the editing/ changes/ falsifications during Bukowski's lifetime in the talk I held.
In difference to mjp I do think this is an issue and we'll have to deal with it.
My talk will be in the next yearbook (German language, but the examples will speak for themselves).
 
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