Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 547

William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, 1953 – photo by Allen Ginsberg -(c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg – Ginsberg caption: “Bill Burroughs and Jack Kerouac locked in Mortal Combat with Moroccan dagger versus broomstick clear on the couch – they had to hold still a full second while I steadied camera on back of chair. They’d known each other nine years by then. Jack came in from Richmond Hill he’d finished Maggie Cassady, Bill stayed with me in two room apartment consolidating Yage Letters, he’d sent over the year from Peru and Ecuador. 206 East 7th St. Apt.16 Manhattan, September-October 1953″

2022 Kerouac Centennial Year and we thought we’d instigate the feature of a regular link and reminder to an old Jack Kerouac post on The Allen Ginsberg Project, (not “old” exactly, since, as Ezra Pound had it with poetry, these postings about Jack are “news that stays news”) .
So how about this? – William Burroughs on Kerouac (from the 1982 Naropa Jack Kerouac Conference)

“Well, Kerouac, Kerouac was a writer. That is, he wrote. And many people who call themselves writers and have their names down on book jackets are not writers and they can’t write. The difference being a bullfighter who fights a bull is different from a bullshitter who makes passes with no bull there. The writer has been there or he couldn’t write about it. And going there he risks being gored.”

More Burroughs this week – the Italian version of a first volume of his letters – Il Mio Passato e Un Fiume Malvagio – Letttere 1946-1973  (“My Past Was An Evil River” – the title is Burroughs’, taken from St. John Perse) – edited by Ottavio Fatica and translated by Andrew Tanzi, out now from Adelphi

Read more about it here and here 

The book draws from the two volumes of Burroughs letters in English – The Letters of William S Burroughs 1945-1959  edited by Oliver Harris (1993) and Rub Out The Words (edited by Bill Morgan (2012)

We noted back in August 2020, Thomas Antonic‘s intriguing Burroughs book from Moloko Print/Sea Urchin, Amongst Nazis.   Oliver Harris, the pre-eminent Burroughs scholar, writes:

“His mid-1930s visit to Vienna has always seemed a brief but colourful episode in William S. Burroughs’ biography, but Antonic’s study has turned it into a transformative chapter in the writer’s life. Based on meticulous and extensive historical research, Amongst Nazis not only gives the first detailed and accurate account of Burroughs’ experience there but offers new insights into its impact on his literary life, including the reasons why the city where Burroughs studied medicine was the birthplace of his most notorious character, Dr. Benway.”
Antonic is even able to track down what appears to be the only known photo, of Burroughs’ first wife, Ilse Herzfeld.
This essay (published in both English and German, and complete with illustrations, footnotes, introductions and postscripts in both languages) is, as his publishers note, an expanded version of the author’s “Dr. Benway meets Dr. Pernkopf – Burroughs and the Nazi Doctors in Vienna 1936/37”, the lecture he delivered back in Vienna in 2018 at the annual EBSN conference

Antonic will be in San Francisco this coming Sunday in San Francisco at Bird & Beckett bookstore, lecturing on the book, followed by a Q & A with archivist, poet and photographer, Tate Swindell

Atonic is also the writer-director of the documentary  ruth weiss – One More Step West Is The Sea, as well as co-editor (with Estíbaliz Encarnación-Pinedo) of the recently-published ruth weiss- Beat poetry, jazz, art.  His obituary of her (for the European Beat Studies Network) is published here.  He is currently working on a full-scale biography.

Speaking of the European Beat Studies Network, Vice-President Polina Mackay has a new book – Beat Feminisms; Aesthetics, Literature, Gender, Activism is finally out

“This is the first book-length study to read women of the Beat Generation as feminist writers. The book focuses on one author from each of the three generations that comprise the groups of female writers associated with the Beats – Diane di Prima, ruth weiss and Anne Waldman – as well as on experimental and multimedia artists, such as Laurie Anderson and Kathy Acker, who have not been read through the prism of Beat feminism before

Ken Babbs’ new autobiography Cronies, A Burlesque: Adventures with Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, the Merry Pranksters and the Grateful Dead is available now via Tsunami Books.

“(“Cronies..”) “is a wild, colorful ride of high times, exploration, and friendships that have lasted a lifetime. In these 70 stories written in unique prose, Ken’s spirit of adventure comes alive with wondrous anecdotes about America’s counterculture and those who came to symbolize it, including the Grateful Dead, Ken Kesey, Wendell Berry, Allen Ginsberg, and a singular host of others—the cronies.”

Read Michael Broerman‘s review of the book – here
Doug Collette reviews it here

and don’t miss Brian Bull on KLCC with an extended version of his interview with Babbs, recorded earlier this month

Powell’s Books in Oregon, will new hosting a free Zoom webinar with Babbs and former NBA champion and author of Back From the Dead, Bill Walton tonight, 5.00 PST (see here)

“First Thoughts, Best Thoughts” – Allen’s (actually, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche‘s) famous adage – Johnny Bender  recalls hearing it here (in 1982 at Naropa at the Kerouac Conference) – “How a workshop with America’s most famous Beat poet changed my life

David S Wills‘ eagle-eye and omnivorous attention catches the Haraki Murakami and the Beats connection this week on Beatdom
If you missed it, don’t miss his piece on the connection between Hunter Thompson and Allen Ginsberg – here 
& check out also this recent interview with David by Leon Horton in International Times 

Beat materials at the auction house yesterday, PBA Galleries, Berkeley – “With the Beats, Bukowski & Counterculture” – The big-ticket item “Mind Breaths- Poems 1972-1977 – original paste-ups and related ephemera” (estimated selling-price between two-and three-thousand dollars) – (it actually went for below the estimated price, fourteen hundred dollars!)

It’s the anniversary today of the birth of film-maker Stan Brakhage. For more on Stan Brakhage – see here

– and 55 years ago – the Human Be-In  – see here and here

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