The neutering of prose by Martin when Bukowski was alive (1 Viewer)

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.


Many thanks in advance.
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).
Re: changes made while he was alive, A) all of those fall on his shoulders. If he didn't care enough to closely read the galleys or the proofs, the end result of not caring is entirely his fault. B) I've still never seen anything in the collections published when he was alive that approaches the scale or destructiveness of what happened after he died. If there's evidence to the contrary, see: A.

You certainly don't have to defer to me or agree or disagree with me. I've never held myself up as an authority or as the final word on anything. I'm just a loudmouth in the business of making my opinions known. I'm not closely associated with anyone who's directly involved in this, or a friend to anyone involved, so I can speak freely. The small handful of people who really seem to care about the issue keep it to themselves. Or they discuss it with each other in hushed tones over tea, never mentioning it in polite company. I suppose they don't want to burn any bridges.

If you have information, you know I'm all for bringing everything to light. It can't hurt to establish the fact that the clumsy "editing" was happening while Bukowski was alive. It's going to make Bukowski look like an idiot (which he may deserve), and the Friends of John Martin Society isn't going to like it, but they'll never like anything that besmirches his sainthood.

It just seems that if very few people care about the work that's really been killed, even fewer are going to care about changes that Bukowski himself could have prevented, but chose not to.
Didn't mean this as an offence. We're in the same team.

It's just that you usually make a point (which is valid), that the changes we see in posthumous books are not quite of the same quality as changes during his lifetime. As far as I can see, you conclude from this, that we should focus on the posthumous books and the lifetime-changes don't matter much.

I was only mentioning, that I disagree here. When the findings of those alive-changes started, I felt the same way as you, but when there came up more and more of them (mostly via David - it's all here), I started wondering, if we should really go on seeing it this way.

I agree, what you say in (A). One of the points in my talk was to ask the question: Is Bukowski innocent?
As I see it, the sheer amount of lifetime-changes, that we face by now, raises a lot of questions, that didn't occur while we only knew about the posthumous changes. And at the moment I see a lot more questions than answers. But I feel, they need to be asked.

Still we're playing the same team and always did. Sorry if it sounded like trying to attack your view of the things. It's just a different view than mine, that's what I wanted to say.
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(mostly via David - it's all here)
So you're talking about the prose?

If so, that's such a different issue (editing prose vs. "editing" poetry) that to me it's almost unrelated. I understand that not everyone feels that way.
talking about the prose? If so, that's such a different issue (editing prose vs. "editing" poetry)
Yeah, I fully agree. There IS a difference.
(poetry CAN NOT be edited by Anyone else than the poet, while editing prose is the given job of an editor.)

The point in our case (Bukowski) is, that we have the 'Women-incident' (plus to some degree the letter-documented disagreements predecessing the publication of 'Post Office') which shows All the Same sorts of changes.

The "style" of these changes - in prose - that Buk didn't accept (or in the case of 'PO' at least didn't appreciate) shows exactly the same pattern as the posthumous changes we all hate so much.

Like these:




Maybe I'm exaggerating this.

and, yes, I do see the (possible) need to change those texts when they move from an underground-mag to a regular trade-book.

But what I say is:
We can Not Ignore this sort of changes, all of which show Exactly the Same Pattern as in the posthumous butcherizations.
And we'll have to deal with this, have to find out what was happening there.

Ah, well, that's my contribution content-wise.
Still, and again, I want to clarify, I'm Not attacking you or your position. I see it more like the (public) discussion of an important subject by two of the leading experts, (maybe comparable to Heisenberg and Schroedinger in the 1920s). This sort of expert-discussion HAS a point and reason and an urge to go on!

feel free to make a seperate thread out of these last posts. I think this would be appropriate (and worth it), no?
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Maybe this is counter-intuitive, but with over 4,000 poems, Buk perhaps didn't feel the intense ownership of those as much as the prose. The actual time and sweat on the novels may have held more significance in terms of keeping them as close to his original words as possible.
Not that he didn't give a shit about the poems, but at some point writing them seemed more like exercising than attempting to create something permanent.
No excusing Martin's pathetic hatchetwork, but hard to keep track of that kind of output.
I'm in the camp that Buk considered himself first and foremost a poet. The prose made him some good coin and I'm sure he held that medium in high regard, but he was a poet who also wrote prose. By and large, his prose is more funny than his poems and that's no small observation. Factotum, in particular, has several very funny spots, as do Post Office and Women. Hollywood, not so much, but there are some funny moments. There are some very funny poems as well (space creatures from War All the Time being a great example), but for the most part, Buk treated the poem with reverence and the prose with due deference. My take, anyway.
Here we are once again exposing the atrocious mangling of Buk's work by Martin. I know Martin and his sycophantic acolytes have taken some umbrage to said exposure in the past. They should be glad we are a literary forum rather than a bunch of accountants who happen to admire Bukowski's fiscal acumen. I would venture my opinion about Martin's payments to Buk over the years, considering the fact that Buk's income was more steady from Germany (which is a smaller market than the U.S.) than from BSP, but MJP's attorney might get on my case if I did.
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here I am reading old threads.

I'm with mjp when he says it's on buk's shoulders the editing when he was alive, since he could have fought it. editors are suppose to edit things, right? that's how prose texts works, but what JM has done over the examples here exposed is, at least, mediocre edition. castrating. but again, Buk was alive.

when it comes to poetry, oh fuck you John Martin. poetry is not open for edition. verses are not meant to be worked by editors. it is what it is. mjp research on that makes me wanna cry and punch someone on the face.
To be fair, it is research done by a lot of people around here. And without many of the early magazine appearances that people post, a lot of the research would have been impossible. We have the manuscripts, but to me the first appearances tell more of the story (someone can say the manuscript was a first draft, but they can't say that about the first publication).

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