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If you want to delve into his work, please note that his editor John Martin/Black Sparrow heavily defaced most of his original work with mediocre edits that bordered vandalism [0]. The manuscripts is where the better stuff is.

[0] https://mjpbooks.com/blog/the-senseless-tragic-rape-of-charl...

Wow, that is amazing. I don't see how anyone could look at the poem referenced in the post [0] and conclude that the editor did not intentionally change a work of art into something only loosely connected to the original.

And this is poetry, where specific word choice is incredibly important to the work. I would feel uncomfortable even adding missing filler words like "the" and "and" to the output of a respected poet. "Vandalism" is a good name for what John Martin did.

On top of that, I'm not really a "literature person"... I'm wholly unqualified to defend my opinions of why one work is good and another is bad... And my opinion was primed by the author's negative opinion of Martin...

But the Martin version of this poem, in addition to not being faithful to the original material, is really awful.

[0] https://a902e479034e684a62a7-1e94d668f4cdc59b83cfdb5f186933f...

Vandalism (in its original use, the pillaging of art) implies a need to cause destruction, hostility; it's vengeance, comeuppance. In this case I think "rape" is the correct description. Rape is asserting your power over someone against their will, to humiliate, dehumanize; it's forced submission to make oneself superior. What Martin did is much worse than simply destroying Bukowski's art; he forced himself upon it, corrupting it, like a necrophiliac with a pen.

It seems like he's saying it was mostly the posthumous poetry, not necessarily the novels or earlier poetry.

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