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Women Second Edition, Revised: True First Printing of Bukowski’s Work

Women Second Edition, Revised: True First Printing of Bukowski’s Work

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There has been controversy in recent years about Black Sparrow Press founder John Martin editing Charles Bukowski’s work after his death.

In reality, Martin and Bukowski had several dust ups on Martin’s editing while Bukowski was still alive. The most notable incident involved the novel Women, which resulted Martin being forced to issue a new edition of the book without his edits.

This is the “Second Edition, Revised” version of the novel, which was published over a year later on March 20, 1979. It eliminates all of the edits John Martin had made, restoring the text to its original form. 400 copies were issued.

In a March 15, 1979, letter to Gerald Locklin, Bukowski provides context for the revised edition being issued:

"On Women, a little tragedy there. Prefer you keep it fairly quiet. Like you know, I tell John Martin [BSP head] to go ahead and correct my grammar but this time he went too far. I should have read the proofs more carefully but I am lazy. Shit man. I guess he thinks I can't write. He threw shit in. Like I like to say, "he said," she said." That's enough for me. But he threw stuff in, like "he retorted," "he said cheerfully," "I shrugged," "she seemed to be sore." Shit it goes on and on...There's even one place where a woman had on a green dress and he put her into a blue dress. At least he didn't change her sexual organs. Think of playing with Faulkner like that? Anyhow, I climbed him pretty hard for it and so the 2nd edition will read on the back page somewhere: "second edition, revised." 

I his groundbreaking work, “A Descriptive Bibliography of the Primary Publications of Charles Bukowski”, Aaron Krumhansl outlined the changes:

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.

Unfortunately, Martin did not use a color title page in the revised edition.

This copy is in Fine condition. 

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