William Burroughs – Creative Reading continues – 7

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[William Burroughs. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg ]

William Burroughs on Creative Reading continues

WSB: Any further questions?

Student: What do you think of all these codes in Lord Jim. You know, he’s writing about all these kind of unexplained code and then, at the end, he’s… he’s killed, kind of, by the native’s code, and Brierly’s suicide that’s a kind of code. I’ve been kind of wondering what Conrad was thinking when he put all these open-ended codes of conduct into the book?

WSB: Yeah, well, so he says, faith in a fixed code of conduct. Now, this … Read More

William Burroughs – Creative Reading continues – 6 (on Books & Films)

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William Burroughs on Books and Films

WSB: I’ve got The Treasures of Sierra Madre on here. Now that, it’s sort of axiomatic that good films are not made from good books. The Treasures of Sierra Madre, I think, is a much better film than it was a book (that is, I read the book after seeing the film. I found the book quite a disappoinment, it didn’t have the punch that the film had at all) . I was trying to think of a case of a really good book that has been made into a good movie, … Read More

William Burroughs – Creative Reading – continues – 5

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[William S Burroughs at the Bunker, New York City, 1985. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

continues from yesterday

Student: Are you familiar with a story called An Outpost of Progress?

WSB Er…..

Student: It’s a (Joseph) Conrad short-story. And the last half of the movie (version).It’s straight Conrad – two totally paranoid traders, in the heart of the Congo, have a real Gothic Western shoot-out, They think that they’re leading each other on, (but…)

WSB: No, I haven’t, I haven’t read it yet.

Student:  (You really have to…)

WSB: Yeah, but there’s some.. there’s some very … He … Read More

William Burroughs – Creative Reading continues – 4

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[Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)]

Our transcription of William Burroughs’ 1980 Naropa lectures continues from here – . Burroughs on Conrad.

WSB:  An Outcast of the Islands – how many of you have read it? That was, I believe, his second book, No-one? – [surveys the class] – No-one has read it. It’s.. the characters.. there’s nobody comparable to Jim [in Lord Jim], everyone’s more simplified, much more simple characters in that book, and the emphasis seems to be on the sets more than on the characters, but it’d make a good film, because it is essentially a novel of rather … Read More

William Burroughs Creative Reading (Conrad and Fitzgerald – 3 (Q & A)

[William S Burroughs at The Bunker, New York City, March 1985. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

William Burroughs on The Great Gatsby and Lord Jim continues from  here

William Burroughs – 3 – Q & A

WSB: How many of you were re-reading these two books (Lord Jim and The Great Gatsby)? Yes..How did you find that they re-read? well?

Student: I think you have to read books more than once.

WSB: You really do, you really do, yes..Well, were you.. did you..were you struck by the parallels and the similarities of the two books?

Student: (Both) the Romantic heroes?… Read More

William Burroughs – Creative Reading 2 (Conrad and Fitzgerald – 2)

[William Burroughs (1914-1997) – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]

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William Burroughs on Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim continues from here

WSB: There really is so many parallels here that I’m sure that Fitzgerald must have read Lord Jim and certainly was influenced by it and there’s a great deal of similarity. They’re both these very improbable Romantic heroes. How many of you saw the… either of the films. Were they any good?

Student: Not The Great Gatsby

WSB: The Great Gatsby.. Well, I don’t think that The Great Gatsby is film material. I mean all of … Read More

William Burroughs Creative Reading – 1 (Conrad & Fitzgerald – 1)

 

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Continuing from yesterday

WSB: Last year I applied these exercises in consideration to a book by Stephen King called The Shining – How many of you have read it? [a show of hands ] Well, in this book there’s a warning of future events which takes the form of a word seen in the mirror, that is, backwards – The word was “Redrum”. Well, how many of you immediately saw that this is “Murder” spelt backwards? – No?

Well, it took me three days I’m ashamed to say. Now, hold the word “Patna up to the mirror … Read More

William Burroughs (Intro to Creative Reading)

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[William S Burroughs (1914-1997)]

We begin today serialized transcription of William Burroughs‘ legendary NAROPA lectures on “Creative Reading from the Summer of 1979.  In the first lecture, Burroughs lectures on Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and A Short Trip Home, and Stephen King’s The Shining, as well as. discussing (in this introductory section) exercises for increasing awareness, books as mental film, codes of conduct, heroes, and the film adaptation of his own classic novel Naked Lunch.

Much  of this material was written up and is available in … Read More