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Old 06-18-2018, 02:56 AM #1
therevverend
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New Charles Bukowski and John Martin Sabotaged Bukowski

A new Bukowski book came out this month, The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way: On Writers and Writing. Not my favorite subjects to read about but it's Bukowski.

It's easy to get distracted by the mythology he created about himself, the surly skid row alcoholic poet, but he's a fucking great writer. One of the few poets I can read without dozing off.

Years ago I was looking at a book of his poetry that came out after he died. It sucked. It was like a book that was incomplete when the author died, then the book was finished by a hack to make money off the dead guy.

It turned out I was correct. After Bukowski died his editor Charles Martin rewrote most of the poems for his posthumous collections. Removing curse words, references to drinking, rewriting, changing the meaning of his poetry.

I'm not sure why and he's never said but he might have been making Bukowski more palatable for mainstream audiences. And I doubt he ever respected Bukowski's writing skills. Ironic, because Martin is a terrible writer his changes are awful.

If you want to see examples check out The senseless, tragic rape of Charles Bukowski's ghost by John Martin at the Bukowski.net. Sad stuff, Bukowski stabbed in the back by his longtime editor and friend Martin.

Good news is that when Mrs. Bukowski found out about this Martin was fired and there's new editors that respect and enjoy Bukowski's work. The new stuff that's come out the last couple years is either unedited (poetry) or edited the way an editor should edit, not completely changed into something shitty.

With the internet it's impossible to hide, I'm sure Martin thought no one would discover his treachery. There's plenty of manuscripts to compare to the published versions to see what was changed.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:44 AM #2
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Bukowski

Wow he is/was one of my favorites. I am in my mid fifties and in my late twenties early 30's I read almost everything he and Sylvia Plath wrote. I have loaned out most of my favs over the years and many have not returned.

Bukowski spoke to me because he was a common man. Worked for the post office and spoke the language of the common man. Plath was from the nonworking class but she spoke to me too. As you get older you look at life through a different lens. Nice to hear his name again because his poetry has molded me forever.

I have a question for thee Bukowski lovers. What was his favorite author/book? Cleft palate is a clue.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:56 AM #3
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I remember seeing one of his after death books in a book store and wondered wtf. Picked it up, read a bit and it was god awful. You just knew it wasn't Buk. I always feared getting any of the Ecco reprints etc...got Betting on The Muse recently on Ecco and it's all good. Phew.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:12 PM #4
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Betting on the Muse was the last good one. It came out in 1996 I believe. Martin destroyed the poetry collections that came after.

Until 2017 when Storm for the Living and the Dead came out. I've gotten it, it's good. It's edited by Abel Debritto. I've read stuff he's blogged online about Bukowski. Seems like a decent human being. He's used the original manuscripts as Bukowski typed them.

I stopped loaning out my Bukowski books. I've learned my lesson.

People criticize Bukowski because he writes about people no one cares about. The poor, alcoholics, prostitutes, societies' losers. Which is why I like Bukowski. I'd rather read about a misfit that doesn't fit into society then a guy with a job who goes to church every week.
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Old 06-19-2018, 01:40 AM #5
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Yeah man, I lost a TON of Black Sparrow editions. Pretty devastated and really don't want the Ecco editions but trying to rise above these things!

Well, look at the world. Look what's popular, it's always better to be into the ones who are criticized by the common realm. That man is a western shaman.
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:41 AM #6
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https://https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uOdol3IdLJc

I’m not tech savvy but I like to read. Here is a sample of Bukowski narrating. It’s a pretty powerful poem.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:16 PM #7
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I was given a paperback in the 80's of his short stories " ... something or other, Ejaculations or something of a Madman". (can't recall. too stoned to search.)



some of those stories were SO funny and others oozed Pathos. (there is one which cans Cannabis smokers for their affected cool ... man)



No doubt his style is unique ...


So unique I haven't yet found anyone to pass the book onto.


It lies complete but unglued in a brown paper bag at the bottom of my Office cupboard.


So much for Great Style ...



Cheers from the Land of Oz!
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:02 PM #8
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Quote:
https://https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uOdol3IdLJc

I’m not tech savvy but I like to read. Here is a sample of Bukowski narrating. It’s a pretty powerful poem.
Yeah that's a great poem. Your link doesn't work properly and I'm not a fan of the music playing in the background. If you like it, that's fine, but to me it distracts. Here's a link that hopefully works better.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdX9gkfJqgE
People like to call the poem Born Into This (the name of a 2003 documentary that's pretty good except for all the John Martin screen time) but it's title is Dinosauria, We.
I popped up here today because I was reading some new manuscripts and came across some more bad 'editing'. After throwing up I decided to post it here as an example of Martin's destructive rewrites. It's just a small part of a larger poem.

The Original Bukowski:

Too much literature has been created
as a counter-function against
loss
of late, I've preferred writing when
I'm feeling good
good or good and drunk,
it doesn't matter

John Martin:

too many of my poems have been created
only in response to losses such as this
of late, I've preferred writing only when I'm feeling good
good or very good
it doesn't matter

The rhythm, nuances, and Bukowski's personality have been destroyed. In Martin's world Bukowski has just a guy who liked feeling good. No drugs or alcohol needed. He feels so good that he regrets writing poems when he wasn't feeling good.
This kind of shit doesn't make me feel good or bad. It makes me feel angry.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:16 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therevverend View Post

People criticize Bukowski because he writes about people no one cares about. The poor, alcoholics, prostitutes, societies' losers. Which is why I like Bukowski. I'd rather read about a misfit that doesn't fit into society then a guy with a job who goes to church every week.

Yes. That is principally what I enjoy about Bukowski.
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