Columbia University RBML Exhibit: “Naked Lunch”: the First Fifty Years

[William S Burroughs: Self Portrait 1959]

Last fall the Columbia University Rare Book Manuscript Library mounted an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Naked Lunch‘s publication by Maurice Girodias’ Olympia Press

The accompanying website is up indefinitely and has some rare items posted, including scanned letters to Allen Ginsberg, and original manuscript manuscript excerpts that offer another layer of insight into the hombre invisible. Also posted are clips of Burroughs reading Naked Lunch, original book covers, a video of the Gysin/Burroughs dream machine and an odd assortment of photos.… Read More

Yakov Rabinovitch: Elegy for Allen Ginsberg

Yakov Rabinovitch wrote this elegy not long after Allen passed away & he hadn’t had a chance to include it in a book for quite some time after. He’s included in his collection of poems Peep out of Me available through Invisible Books.

A note of preface from Yakov:
“I knew Allen Ginsberg for about 25 years, and learned from him at every phase of my life. As a foolish teenager, as a mature man who fully appreciated his artistic achievements, and finally, as a middle-aged man, I saw his nobililty in his age and decline. I was never an
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Buddha’s Footprint

[Buddha’s Footprint drafted by Harry Smith, 1982.]

[Buddha’s Footprint. Hand drawn frontispiece to Indian Journals by Allen Ginsberg]

Often we get asked the meaning of that “three fish” symbol on all of Allen’s Harper Collins books, as well as in the frontispiece of Indian Journals, and for the most part only had the simple answer – It’s the Buddha’s footprint that he saw while in Bodh Gaya in 1962 – but couldn’t really say much more. Recently however we unearthed this paragraph he wrote for the Catholic Worker back in 1967, which is the most thorough and complete description we’ve … Read More