Women

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I have always wondered how far reaching Martin's changes were in the first edition of Women. I haven't had a copy of the first paperback until recently, so I thought it would be fun to see what he had added or removed.

Well, it's not fun. It really sucks reading two versions of the same book side by side. So I only made it through the first chapter, but that was enough to find two weird additions, both on page 10:

Bukowski's version: "Look," I said, "stay...
Martin's version: "Look," I said reasonably, "stay...

Bukowski's version: --all so jolly and brave and sexy together. I threw the sheets away.
Martin's version: --all so jolly and brave and sexy together. I yawned. I threw the sheets away.

Anyway, I don't think I have the stomach to go through the whole thing comparing and looking for changes, but I have to say that those two kind of jumped out at me when reading the first. Uncharacteristic, I thought.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
Since it's not in front of me, were Martin's editorial changes only in the first edition? Did Buk make him restore the text in subsequent printings? I've got a later edition...
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Yeah, this is the first edition (paperback) only.

When Bukowski received his copies he gave Martin hell for the changes and made him remove the changes, revert to his original manuscript and specify "Second Printing, Revised" on the second printing (see below). I'm at work now so I can't check the later versions to see if they dropped the "revised" tag.

In the relevant letter book (Reach For The Sun ?) you can read a letter where Bukowski complains about he changes (and admits that he should have paid more attention to the proofs - ha).

womenrevised.jpg
women-revised.jpg
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
Thanks, mjp. I'll have to check mine, which was probably printed in 1988 or so, to see if the revision marking is still there. Your post makes it sound like the first edition hardcovers had Buk's version without Martin's edits...?
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
You all should read that letter mjp mentioned. I always wondered why did Martin allow it to be collected. He could have told Seamus: "That one won't make it to the book" or something like that.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Yeah, but there are other slightly anti-Martin comments here and there in those books as well. Maybe he wanted that one in particular included because he enjoyed Bukowski's, "maybe he thinks I can't write" comment. ;)

Stickpin - unlike traditional publishers, Black Sparrow always released the softcover before the hardcover (sometimes quite a long time before), so the softcovers are the true first editions. I don't know if any of the Martin-ized firsts of Women made it to hardcover. I would tend to doubt it, since Bukowski was unhappy about the first. But I don't have a first hardcover of Women, so I can't really answer that one definitively.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
Stickpin - unlike traditional publishers, Black Sparrow always released the softcover before the hardcover (sometimes quite a long time before), so the softcovers are the true first editions. I don't know if any of the Martin-ized firsts of Women made it to hardcover. I would tend to doubt it, since Bukowski was unhappy about the first. But I don't have a first hardcover of Women, so I can't really answer that one definitively.
Funny that. A paperback being the first. Never knew that, mjp. Thanks indeed.

All that matters on this issue (well, not all, but it is salient) is that my 1988 13th printing is Buk's version, so it's clear that Buk had a big say in what he actually put out there. I can totally relate to his "lack of review" of the proofs, however. I've had a few scientific journal articles edited by PhD.'s. and GOD, you cannot imagine how they can get it wrong.

I didn't have the luxury of being lazy on my proofs, but if I'd have been Buk, I would have been lazy too; expecting JM to do right by me.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
You all should read that letter mjp mentioned. I always wondered why did Martin allow it to be collected. He could have told Seamus: "That one won't make it to the book" or something like that.
On what page can I find the letter in Reach For The Sun? I've looked for it, but I can't find it...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
I'm thinking the letter in question is in "Living on Luck," pgs. 248-249, 7/16/78. Buk's response is on pgs. 266-267, 5/31/79.

Edited: Is there an earlier letter?
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
I'm thinking the letter in question is in "Living on Luck," pgs. 248-249, 7/16/78. Buk's response is on pgs. 266-267, 5/31/79.
Thanks, Stickpin! I was looking in the wrong book. It's none of those two letters that you mention, but you got me on the right track! The letter where Buk complains a great deal about Martin correcting his grammar and throwing new stuff in, is in a letter to Locklin from March 15, 1979 on page 260, in "Living On Luck". It ends like this: "Anyhow, I climbed him pretty hard for it and so the 2nd edition will read on a back page somewhere: "second edition, revised."
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
Heh, nothing like being totally wrong, and yet somehow right at the same time.

Glad I could point yer in the right direction. Also glad to have one of those in tissue wraps with another in paper wraps for me to read. Peace.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Okay, I know I said I wouldn't do this, but here are some more. First line is as it appears now. Second line is from the Martinized first edition.

---

10
"Look," I said, "stay. I'll pay. Just stay a while."
"Look," I said reasonably, "stay. I'll pay. Just stay a while."

They were by Lydia and her three sisters - all so jolly and brave and sexy together. I threw the sheets away and I opened my pint of whiskey.
They were by Lydia and her three sisters - all so jolly and brave and sexy together. I yawned. I threw the sheets away and I opened my pint of whiskey.

14
I grabbed Lydia and we went into our longest kiss ever.
I grabbed Lydia and we went into our longest clinch ever.

Lydia sat silently working on the clay.
Lydia sat silently working on the clay. Brooding.

15
I opened the door, closed the door and walked to my 1962 Mercury Comet.
I shrugged. I opened the door, closed the door and walked to my 1962 Mercury Comet.

16
She didn't speak to me but immediately sat down next to a young bookstore clerk and began an intense conversation with him.
She didn't speak to me but immediately sat down next to a handsome young bookstore clerk and began an intense conversation with him.

17
After Sammy left Lydia said, "You didn't have to drive him away."
After Sammy left Lydia was annoyed. "You didn't have to drive him away."

18
"I think you deserve some love," she said.
"I think you deserve some sex," she said kindly.

19
She pushed me out, closed the door, and I stood out in the hall, listening to the bath water run.
She pushed me out, closed the door, and I stood out in the hall, naked, listening to the bath water run.

20
He passed in front of Lydia, along the sand on the ocean side of the knoll.
He passed in front of Lydia, walking slowly and proudly along the sand on the ocean side of the knoll.

21
She began to draw on the paper.
She began to draw carefully on the paper.

"No you can't," she said. "Blood and pee come out of there, think of it, blood and pee..."
"I bet you can't," she said "Blood and pee come out of there, think of it, blood and pee..."

23
"Look," said Lydia, "let's not talk about literary crap."
"Look," said Lydia firmly, "let's not talk about literary crap."

25
I puked up another gusher on somebody's dying brush.
I puked up another gusher on somebody's dying lawn.

---

So - make of that what you will. Martin appears to be attempting to improve the work - by his standards, I suppose - with his little descriptive additions to virtually every page.

What's funny is that you don't even have to compare the books to find these. Just read the first edition, and when you come across a word or phrase that seems out of place, check a later edition. The word that goes KLANK in the first is invariably Martin's.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
a sculptor chipped pieces off a stone, and in his attempt to help, the apprentice put the pieces back saying, 'master? you dropped this?'

funny how the words left off were meant to be left off, eh? thanks mjp
 

ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
Ya. Those JM additions are really woeful.
It's hard to imagine the thought process behind them.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
the german translation follows an earlier manuscript and is even titled like it was at an earlier state: 'Das Liebesleben der Hyäne' (='Love tail of the Hyenna').
the publishers point to that at the very beginning.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Love Tales of the Hyena was the working title of Women. Several excerpts appeared in the LA Freep under that title.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Martin appears to be attempting to improve the work - by his standards, I suppose - with his little descriptive additions
it's funny, i just read stephen king's book "on writing" and he talks alot about how that stuff is amateurish and
and that a good editor would eliminate that shit, not add it.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Funny, since Elmore Leonard died I was re-reading his 10 rules of writing and came across this:

3. Never use a verb other than ''said'' to carry dialogue.

The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with ''she asseverated,'' and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb ''said'' . . .

. . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances ''full of rape and adverbs.''
Someone should have given those rules to Martin.
 
JM must feel that he owns Buk. Not just his BSP output but everything Bukowski, soup to nuts along with the right to alter/defile and neuter his work. It's really the posture of someone betrayed by "the help".
 
""I was re-reading his 10 rules of writing""
Excellent pointer .. I immediately thought of this when I just saw what the JM changes were.
...
And looking at the way the 2nd printing is flagged .. it is a little odd that it has been done in a typewriter face and not the letterpress typeface used above for main text above it.... what is JM trying to say by compromising the page design?
I shall have go buy myself this 2nd printing to see what other cheap tricks were got up to.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
Stickpin - unlike traditional publishers, Black Sparrow always released the softcover before the hardcover (sometimes quite a long time before), so the softcovers are the true first editions. I don't know if any of the Martin-ized firsts of Women made it to hardcover. I would tend to doubt it, since Bukowski was unhappy about the first. But I don't have a first hardcover of Women, so I can't really answer that one definitively.
OK, nearly six years later and it turns out that the Martinized version does appear in the First Edition hardcover. This makes sense if you consult Krumhansl, who indicates that all the Firsts were published December 15, 1978. The changes weren't made until 1979:

"f. First edition, paper wrappers, revised issue:
5079 copies were published 20 March 1979.


Note: During editing of this novel John Martin changed a few words and altered punctuation. Bukowski caught these changes and wanted the text revised [see Cherkovski's Hank p. 262]. After the book went through the first printing, a second revised printing was issued with changes to the following pages:
10, 12, 14-21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30-46, 48, 50-54, 56, 57, 59-63, 65, 66, 69, 71-74, 76-80, 82-84, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 96, 100, 103-106, 113, 137, 141, 174, 178, 183, 194, 198, 200, 201, 204, 206, 210, 222, 226, 230, 232, 234-241, 253, 255, 276, 285, 286, 289.
Unfortunately the corrected version contained mistakes on pp. [3], [4], 203 and 251. These pages were reprinted and inserted in some of the paper wrapper copies. The cloth revised edition was published with complete corrected sheets.


g. First edition, cloth, revised issue:

400 copies were published 20 March 1979.
Note: See note on preceding issue.
"
 

Gary Eisenberg

RIP
Over 100 posts
OK, nearly six years later and it turns out that the Martinized version does appear in the First Edition hardcover.
I can confirm this. I have one of the limited signed first editions (#267/300) and it is indeed the "Martinized" version. Strange...I've mulled over the changes a bit. I can't understand the rationale behind any of the changes. While they don't necessarily "ruin" the work for me, all of the changes strike me as having been entirely unnecessary. Almost as though the editor wanted to inject a piece of himself, like inscribing one's initials on an old oak tree, something like that. I just don't get it.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
John Martin changed a few words...

10, 12, 14-21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30-46, 48, 50-54, 56, 57, 59-63, 65, 66, 69, 71-74, 76-80, 82-84, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 96, 100, 103-106, 113, 137, 141, 174, 178, 183, 194, 198, 200, 201, 204, 206, 210, 222, 226, 230, 232, 234-241, 253, 255, 276, 285, 286, 289.
yeah, just a few...
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
as though the editor wanted to inject a piece of himself...
Bingo!

Unfortunately, the "piece of himself" is amateurish and embarrassing and - as it extended its clumsy reach into the poetry - ultimately destructive.
 
The most expensive copy on abe is 3k. Even with the poem and association, $3500.00 seems steep. I would bet a best offer of $2500.00 would be accepted. Not that I'm gonna offer...
 
Me, neither. Especially after JM has stamped and signed the thing. Pre-Martin Bukowski from Martin's library, signed by Martin. Jesus. Though, an "objective" dealer might consider that excellent provenance...

Neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned.
 
Top