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Burroughs Bash !

A Celebration of the Writings of
William S. Burroughs

at the
Yippie Museum Café


Monday, June 30th, 2011

Host - Gordon Gilbert

Acoustic Levitation thanks Gordon Gilbert and the Yippie Museum Café (yippiemuseum.org) and each of the readers for sharing with our readers this continuing series in tribute to the Beat writers.

Program

Videos of William Burroughs to be shown as the audience arrives

Introductory Notes - Gordon Gilbert

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Readers

Big Mike " ... I Ran Into a BOY, Named ANGELO..." from Junkie, 1970's Vintage Penguin Edition, p. 114

Roxanne Hoffman "The Mummy Piece"

Bob Heman excerpts from My Education: A Book of Dreams

Ronnie Norpel excerpt from With William Burroughs: Report from the Bunker [edited] by Victor Bockris

Jack Cooper "Poetics of the Croup (Prat Felicities): Molly Bloom and Inspector Lee"
"The Boys from St. Louis" (Fold-in Technique) & "Cut-up Last Words"

Cynthia Toronto with musician
Steve Wishnia
"Prisoners of the earth come out" excerpt from The Job,
Interviews with William S. Burroughs by Daniel Odier
"Atrophied Preface" excerpts from Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

Richard Fein "Cold Lost Marbles"

Peter Martin excerpts from the BENWAY and HOSPITAL sections in Naked Lunch

Hilary Sideris "Les Voleurs" from The Adding Machine

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Gil Fagiani selections from pages IX, Xli, 19, and 78 of Junkie (2003, Penguin)

Evie Ivy "Where Flesh Circulates"

Orion 0.62 "OTHERS KILL CELLS AND FUTURE FOR NEW CANCER HOLES"

Robin Small-McCarthy


"Thanksgiving Prayer"
Aimee Herman "The Beginning is Also the End" from The Burroughs File
& an excerpt from "Electronic Revolution" from The Job: Interviews with William S. Burroughs

David Lawton

"Exterminator"

 

Zev Torres "Spain & 42nd Street"

Final Words & Announcements - Gordon Gilbert

          *           *           *           *           *           *           *           *           *

William S. Burroughs II
(also known by his pen name William Lee)
February 5, 1914 - August 2, 1997

from Wikipedia:

An American novelist, poet, essayist and spoken word performer.

A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century."

His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature.
Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences.
He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

…became afflicted with the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs. In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of what became the countercultural movement of the Beat Generation.

Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical…

Naked Lunch was his first venture into a non-linear style. Scenes were slid together with little care for narrative. He described Naked Lunch as a book that could be cut into at any point. Although not considered science fiction, the book does seem to forecast-with eerie prescience - such later phenomena as AIDS, liposuction, autoerotic fatalities, and the crack pandemic.

Once published in the United States, Naked Lunch was prosecuted as obscene by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, followed by other states. In 1966, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared the work "not obscene" on the basis of criteria developed largely to defend the book. The case against Burroughs's novel still stands as the last obscenity trial against a work of literature-that is, a work consisting of words only, and not including illustrations or photographs - prosecuted in the United States.

Literary style and periods

Burroughs's major works can be divided into four different periods. The dates refer to the time of writing, not publication, which in some cases was not until decades later:

  • Early work (early 1950s): Junkie, Queer and The Yage Letters are relatively straightforward linear narratives, written in and about Burroughs's time in Mexico City and South America.
  • The cut-up period (mid 1950s to mid 1960s): Naked Lunch is a fragmentary collection of "routines" from The Word Hoard - manuscripts written in Tangier, Paris, London, as well as of some other texts written in South America such as "The Composite City", blending into the cut-up and fold-in fiction also heavily drawn from The Word Hoard: The Soft Machine, Nova Express, The Ticket That Exploded, also referred to as "The Nova Trilogy" or "the Nova Epic", self-described by Burroughs as an attempt to create "a mythology for the space age". Interzone also derives from this period.
  • Experiment and subversion (mid 1960s to mid 1970s): This period saw Burroughs continue experimental writing with increased political content and branching into multimedia such as film and sound recording. The only major novel written in this period was The Wild Boys, but he also wrote dozens of published articles, short stories, scrap books and other works, several in collaboration with Brion Gyson. The major anthologies representing work from this period are The Burroughs File, The Adding Machine and Exterminator!.
  • The Red Night trilogy (mid 1970s to mid 1980s): The books Cities of the Red Night, The Place of Dead Roads and The Western Lands came from Burroughs in a final, mature stage, creating a complete mythology.

Burroughs also produced numerous essays and a large body of autobiographical material, including a book with a detailed account of his own dreams (My Education: A Book of Dreams).

 



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