Posts Tagged ‘William Burroughs’
February 6, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- Teens of Toronto: Are you fed up with Valentine’s Day and the crass commercialization of love—thorny, ineffable love? Then head to the library, where you can vandalize the covers of romance novels.
- With the Burroughs centenary came a welcome glut of Burroughs miscellany, including these photos of the man hanging out with Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, and Sting.
- Today in ethically compromised vacation sites: Prora, a Nazi beach resort built just before the World War II. (Nowadays, part of it is a youth hostel: “You can hear the sound of the sea and meet like-minded people from around the world.”)
- “Defined simply, literary Darwinism is the practice of using the theory of evolution to understand books.” I think I need it defined complexly.
- St. Mark’s Bookshop is “gathering its forces for a big move.” You can help—not by lugging boxes but by shopping there, right now, this instant. Begone!
February 5, 2014 | by George Mürer
Meeting William Burroughs on his eightieth birthday.
I have this fairy godmother, a childhood friend of my mother’s who lives in Lawrence, Kansas. My mother and I call her up several times a year and she’s always turning me onto cool stuff. One day, when I was a senior in high school, it occurred to me to ask her,
“Do you know William S. Burroughs?”
I should emphasize that this moment came at the feverish height of a blind obsession I had with William Burroughs and everything Burroughs related.
“You’re friends with him?”
“Well, we certainly know each other. He’s one of our local characters.”
“Do you see a lot of him?”
“I see him all the time, but mostly in the cat-food aisle of the supermarket.”
I went straight to my mother and demanded that we visit my godmother at the earliest opportunity. That summer, after I’d graduated high school and had had my wisdom teeth out, we went to Kansas. Read More »
January 26, 2012 | by William Burroughs
WSB [Paris] to Laura Lee and Mortimer Burroughs [Palm Beach, Florida]
[ca. November 17, 1959]
Dear Mother and Dad,
I am sorry.. Can only say time accelerated and skidded—No time to eat as you see in the photo—(Taken by my friend Brion [Gysin] the painter, certainly the greatest painter living and I do not make mistakes in the art world. Time will bear me out.. Brion used to run The 1001 Nights, restaurant night club in Tanger but at that time we barely spoke disliking each other intensely for reasons that seemed adequate to both parties.. Situation and per sonnel changed.. The 1001 Nights closed for dislocations and foreclosures and Brion woke up in Paris.. And I, stricken by la foie coloniale—the colonial liver, left the area on advice of my phy sician.. “You want to get some cold weather on that liver, Bur roughs. A freezing winter would make a new man of you,” he said.
So when I ran into Brion in Paris it was Tanger gossip at first then the discovery that we had many other interests in common..
Like all good painters he is also a brilliant photographer as you see.. A curious old time look about the photo like I’m fading into grandfather or some other relative many years back in time..)
Rather a long parenthesis.. It strikes me as regrettable that one should reserve a special and often lifeless style for letter to parents.. So I shift to my usual epistolary style.. When my correspondents reproach me for tardiness, I can only say that I give as much atten tion to a letter as I do to anything I write, and I work at least six and sometimes sixteen hours a day..
I am considering a shift of headquarters from The Continent— or possibly England—All we expatriates hear now is: “Johnny Go Home”and may be a good idea at that..Terrible scandal in Morocco.. Cooking oil cut with second run motor oil has paralyzed 9544 per sons.. The used motor oil was purchased at the American Air Base and was not labeled unfit for human consumption .. The Moroccan press holds U.S. responsible not to mention 9,544 Moroccans and a compound interest of relatives.. “Johnny stay out of Morocco.”
I want to leave here in one month more or less a few days and make Palm Beach for Christmas if convenient.
I was sorry to hear that Mote has been ill.. Take care of your self—Dad—and get well. I will see you all very soon —
PS. If my writing seems at times ungrammatical it is not due to carelessness or accident. The English language—the only really adjustable language—is in state of transition.. Transition and the old grammar forms no longer useful..
October 26, 2011 | by Mark Van de Walle
After two months of twelve- to sixteen-hour days, and six-and-a-half-day weeks, I began to realize I’d misread the signs that led me to the Beat Hotel. The caretaker’s house did have the advertised citrus trees, pool, fireplace and view, and the Camaro—glowing, golden—was there, too. But I hadn’t spent a single night in the house. Instead, I collapsed in a room at the Beat, got up early and went back to work. The Camaro stayed in the driveway. Worse, my fantasy about living the writer’s life in the desert was precisely that: I hadn’t written a single page. Instead of breaking my writer’s block, Steve entombed it beneath an endless, proliferating series of tasks. Read More »
October 25, 2011 | by Mark Van de Walle
A story in three parts. Previously: Part 1, The Amanuensis.
I met Steve the first time I stayed at the Lautner Motel, in August of 2000. I was in California to do research for a book about trailer parks, and there was an anarchist trailer park, a place called Slab City, in an abandoned military base about sixty miles south of Desert Hot Springs. I’d brought my girlfriend and wanted to stay somewhere nice to make up for the 120-degree temperatures, so we wound up at the Lautner. It was late when we finally arrived, but almost as soon as we’d gone inside and put our luggage down, Steve knocked on the door. Read More »
September 14, 2011 | by Terry Southern
In 1962, Olympia Press editor Maurice Girodias published Terry Southern’s story “New Art Museum in Hamburg Blown Up” in the first issue of the short-lived literary magazine, Olympia (it ran for only four issues). Southern’s trenchant and funny piece was in excellent company: the issue also featured ten episodes from William S. Burroughs’s The Soft Machine, poems by Lawrence Durrell, a selection from Southern’s pornographic novel, Candy, and a suppressed chapter from J. P. Donleavy’s The Ginger Man. This was not a publication to be taken lightly.
Southern’s story was relegated to “long-lost” status before his son, Nile, proposed it for inclusion in Gabriel Levinson’s forthcoming anthology, A Brief History of Authoterrorism. We’re pleased to welcome it back after nearly fifty years.