The senseless, tragic rape of Charles Bukowski’s ghost by John Martin’s Black Sparrow Press (2 Viewers)

Yes they should and must be restored but in the meantime I hold out hope that maybe not all were ruined. I admit I was saddened to find out about the edits because I had just got one of them. Someone in the Amazon comments mentioned all the posthumous stuff “is not Bukowski.” I appreciate people who are extremely passionate about this, like you say everything needs to be de-Martinized.

I should have said it’s not a big deal to me but then again I only learned of this a few days ago having purchased just one of the bad ones. The question I have is why would Martin try to clean up his image with the edits? It contradicts everything that was previously published.


Usually wrong.
I guess Martin's tinkering really annoys me because I waited for each new posthumous edition to come out and paid full retail for it, only later to learn that Martin had seriously messed with Bukowski's work and had done it so poorly. I can read those books and get a general idea that Buk wrote a poem about such and such, but I wouldn't take any one line seriously, and certainly wouldn't quote it, because it may be Martin speaking and not Buk. Publishing is a business, and Bukowski sells. Martin likely never approved of Bukowski's lifestyle and may have been eager all along to sanitize the work so that it met his (Martin's) standards of what was acceptable to say in literature. This is merely my personal opinion. I don't know why Martin did what he did. You're right: the posthumous Martinized works contradict the previously published writings and make no sense, but that didn't stop the guy from doing it. Ecco doesn't seem to give a damn about the integrity of the posthumous editions. To those of us who love Bukowski's writing, it's a terrible sacrilege. MJP/Hannah did us all a great service discovering and documenting this travesty. I just hope nobody is quoting any Martinized lines in their tattoos.
Last edited:

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
The question I have is why would Martin try to clean up his image with the edits? It contradicts everything that was previously published.
everyone (that cares) asks that and no one has the answer.

it's beyond fucked up...


Reaper Crew
And the censors are always awake: look what happened to Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming.

In Live and Let Die, Bond’s comment that would-be African criminals in the gold and diamond trades are “pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought, except when they’ve drunk too much” has been changed to “pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought”.
A perfect example of "martinizing," isn't it?


Usually wrong.
Yes, and this shit is rampant. Here, for the record, are my wishes as an author after I'm dead: allow editors to fix typos and factual errors. Fix punctuation when clarity is improved. Leave everything else alone, or let it go out of print. If I wrote something someone can't deal with, politely tell them to piss off.


Usually wrong.
My thought on the "sensitivity reader" revisions to popular authors is that it will create a strong market for older editions that were published with the original wording.


Founding member
My ears were ringing. Did someone say my name? 🥰

I don't care what anyone believes about Bukowski, John Martin, or mjp anymore. They're all fictional characters, anyway.

The Martinizing thing was a Don Quixote crusade, but it felt right at the time. The truth is, there was never any point in trying to convince anyone of anything. People understand what they can and believe what they wish.

I'm just trying to survive the impending transgenocide and breathe another day. Peace and love to all. 🙂
the first 3 to 4 posthumous collections are strong works--around SLOUCHING TOWARD NIRVANA, 2005,more skeleton than flesh begins to show. COME ON IN, 2006, is a disaster. It was an unconscionable act for John Martin to have made Bukowski sound like Rod McCuen, and a crime for him to make Buk sound like a bad writer. I discuss, I my book, what I consider Martin's editorial duplicity: BUKOWSKI the Ubermensch, Cyberwit. net., Wayne F. Burke

Bukowski struggled against Martin's editing jobs as early as POST OFFICE, 1967. The German edition of that novel was published as Bukowski wrote the thing--without Martin's making it, as he claimed, "more literate." The two got into an argument over WOMEN as well, Buk feeling Martin went too far with his editing and made a big great book into a smaller and far less great work. "Can you imagine Martin touching up a Van Gogh?" Buk asked a correspondent. The early posthumous collections do not suffer any diminution until SLOUCHING TOWARD NIRVANA, 2005, when more skeleton begins to show than flesh. COME ON IN, 2006, is badly written--a disaster. It was unconscionable for Martin to have made Buk sound like Rod McKuen, but it was a crime to have made Buk sound like a bad writer. I discuss this issue, by the way, in my recently published (4-23) Bukowski study, BUKOWSKI the Ubermensch,, publisher
I believe your scholarly and rare insight will herald a new dawn of thought regarding Bukowski’s posthumous publications. Into each generation comes its Boswell…well done sir!


Usually wrong.
I haven't read enough of the posthumous collections to have an opinion as to their relative strengths and weaknesses. As soon as I learned of Martin's tampering, I lost interest in all of them, and I was behind in reading them anyway. I had been buying each one as it came out, saving them up to read later. Then Hannah spilled the beans, and I stopped buying the new releases after that. I still have the ones I bought. Kind of as placeholders for the books that should have been and aren't.

Users who are viewing this thread