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Wantling's Wormwood Reviews- ebay (1 Viewer)

They are cool. Still, there is NO proof that these were Wantlings. Even the letter could just be a note from Marvin to Wantling. The EXCHANGE copy could be Wantlings, or it could have been from someone else. I believe that the exchange copies were used as trade to other presses, not contributors. I have come EXCHANGE copies here.

Even if they were Wantlings copies, they are not worth what they are asking for them.

They are very cool, though.
I am the guy listing the Wantling Wormwoods and Entrails magazines and I wanted to put the record straight as best I can. While I am 100% certain these were WW's, I clearly underestimated people's skepticism on this point. I don't know exactly what I can offer as "proof" but I am more than willing to elaborate on the details and provide some context. As I stated in the listing, sometime in the mid-1990's Ruth (his wife) sold a selection of Bill's "library" including books, magazines, chap books and other literary oddities to Babbitt's Books in Normal, IL. (The bulk of Bill's actual writings both published and unpublished were donated to the local history museum). Babbitt's is still in business and the owner could easily corroborate and expand on the details of this purchase. In fact, if you search their online database: http://www.babbittsbooks.com/ you'll see they still have a few remaining items out of WW's collection (keyword search Wantling). However back in the 1990s, there was literally a box full of oddball small press stuff that sat in the back room and while it was not labeled or sold as "Property of WW" it was also not a secret. The fact is, at the time almost no one knew or cared who WW was not even here in his hometown and it would have been absurd to market them as such... remember this is for the most part pre-internet, pre-ebay, etc..

To be honest when I bought these, it was not at all for the Wantling connection, instead it was for the Bukowski poems they contained. I'm not a book collector (not even close), I was just a huge fan of Bukowski and bought these issues only because they contained poems that were uncollected at the time (at least I thought so). I knew of Wantling by name only (because of Buk) and probably had never even read a poem of WW before reading the ones in Issue 20. The fact that these were once WW's (just a name to me at the time) was I guess a cool bonus but little more than that. If I had been smart I would of bought the whole box... sadly I didn't. The contents of that box eventually trickled out of the store over the next couple of years (I visited regularly) with most people probably unaware that they were once Wantling's. I only bought the six I have listed and have held on to them all these years The letter I mention was folded into one of Wormwoods that I bought although it seems to have belonged originally to another issue (there were definitely others ). My claim that the EXCHANGE copy was relevant to WW being published in the previous issue is only an assumption on my part. Because I know for certain that these were Wantling's, I was working backwards in looking for clues or "proof" and it seemed reasonable that exchange copies were sent to the poets.

As for why I am selling them, while I have come to appreciate Wantling more and more especially because of his local connection, I am not a book collector and thought there might be someone out there that would appreciate them more, maybe I was wrong I don't know butI've also noticed that Wantling is getting more respect these days with the Tangerine Press publications etc. and so I decided to throw them up on eBay.

As for the price, if you accept my claim that they were Wantling's, I don't think my starting price is totally out of line which comes to $50 an issue (less actually if you factor in the shipping) however I realize others strongly disagree. From what I can tell the Wormwood's sell normally from $15- $35 and the Entrails for $50 or so (correct if I am wrong) but I figure the Wantling factor is worth something. Again, I realize it is on the high side but I'm not looking to give these away and I'm not hurting for money. If there was interest in them, I could part with them but at the same time I'm happy to hold on to them. They are cool. In fact, assuming they don't sell, I don't plan on relisting them any time soon. Thanks for reading this far, hopefully I cleared up a few things. I'm not looking to make close a sale here, I'm just trying to put the record straight. If you have any more questions, I'll try and get back here to answer them. Thanks
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I do not doubt that they once belonged to a Wantling. My issue is, that from a collecting point of view, there is no solid proof to carry them into the future. Many poets marked their books. Blazek often signed books that he owned. The same with Micheline. Some people use a bookplate.

Although it would be cool to own one of these, trying to resell this in the future would be REALLY hard, giving them little resale value based on the previous ownership.

Every once in a while a Bukowski book pops up that is beat to shit. Sometimes they have little stains on them. Sellers sometimes claim that this is where Bukowski spilled wine on them. Of course, this is just a story made up. Even with a letter of provenance from you or from Babbits, there are no markings on the books that would set these apart from other copies.

It is also possible that these belonged to Ruth and not Bill.

Again, I don't doubt that your story is completely accurate, it is just that it seems to me to add a premium, the provenance is not iron-clad.


p.s. Thomas Jefferson had a secret way of marking all of the books in his library. Although once it was found out, it could be faked, it is a very unusual way that would keep people from just claiming that any 18th century book "came from the library of Jefferson"...

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