William Burroughs (Intro to Creative Reading)


[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

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 285


“Self-Portrait on my Seventieth birthday in Borsolino hat and black cashmere-silk scarf from Milan & Dublin Thornproof-tweed suit, Oleg Cassini tie from Goodwill, shirt same source, kitchen windwo mid-day, I stayed home & worked on Selected Poems 1947-95 proofs after returning from Walker Art Center reading – Beat exhibition weekend. Monday June 3, 1996, NY. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate

We Are Continually Exposed to the Flashbulb of Death – The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg (1953-1996), the show that originated in 2014 at the University of Toronto, (see here for more on their pre-eminent Ginsberg photo collection), opened … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 199 (William Blake’s Birthday)

[ The cottage of William Blake in Felpham, Sussex, England]

Today is William Blake‘s birthday. Next Thursday, William Blake – Apprentice and Master, a major exhibition opens at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum (through March 1, 2015). More on that exhibit here and here  Meanwhile, crunch-time for the Blake Society’s plans to try to buy Blake’s Felpham cottage. If the goal of  £520,000 is not reached by today, the real-estate agency, Jackson-Stops & Staff, which is handling the sale, will put it back on the open market. Money and the market-place (but also, and more importantly, creativity exonerated and … Read More

William Burroughs at Naropa 1982 (Q & A – part two)

… in media res.. William Burroughs is talking about Joseph Conrad
WSB:  ….oh he’s a very great writer, my god!  He’s a great creator of character. You can see the characters – Elmer, Lingard… Not interesting people, for the most part, at all, but, like, neither is (are) (Jean) Genet‘s characters interesting in themselves but he manages a transmutation there that makes a really dull person like Willems in An Outcast of the Islands interesting -Lingard, they’re all dull people
Q: Do you see much of Genet at all?
WSB: No he’s very hard to find, he… I … Read More

Cut-Ups 2 – Brion Gysin

[Brion Gysin with Dreamachine at Musée des Art Décoratifs, Paris, 1962  – Photograph by Harold Chapman – © Harold Chapman] 

Weekend of  The Cut-Ups – Two Brion Gysin movies on the Allen Ginsberg Project this weekend. The first, Nik Sheehan’s 2008 Canadian documentary, FLicKeR, (a documentary examining and exploring Gysin’s mind-expanding, trance-inducing invention, the dreamachine); the second, from ten years earlier, Joe Ambrose, Frank Rynne and Terry Wilson’s record of the 1992 Gysin celebrations in Dublin, Ireland, Destroy All Rational Thought (the latter of particular interest, since it features one of the very last filmed interviews with William Burroughs,Read More

William S Burroughs – Cut-Ups


[William S Burroughs from Towers Open Fire (1963)]

Just because February, the birthday month, is over, it doesn’t mean our William Burroughs celebrations, here on the Allen Ginsberg Project are over, far from it!  Here for the weekend, a little more from and about El Hombre Invisible. Looking back on his legendary “cut-up” work (with particular reference to his film collaboration(s) with Antony Balch).

Antony Balch.jpg

[Antony Balch (1937-1980)]

(A new monograph, Guerilla Conditions – Le Cinema d’Antony Balch by French scholar, Adrien Clerc, named after a planned-but-never-completed Balch-Burroughs collaboration,  is scheduled to appear shortly). Meanwhile…


To begin … Read More

William Burroughs – (Commissioner of Sewers)


 Burroughs Centennial celebration continues. Here is Klaus Maeck‘s 1991 documentary – William S Burroughs – Commissioner of Sewers, featuring, in a suitably cut-up form, Jurgen Ploog‘s interview with Burroughs, and footage from a 1986 Burroughs reading (recorded in Berlin, Germany, in May of 1986).  We’ve featured a snippet of this before (on Burroughs’ birthday) but here is the whole thing. JP: I want to ask you William, what made you become a writer? I’m referring  to your remark, in the preface to Queer, where you said that your wife, your wife Joan’s death had … Read More