Letters of Note: Jack Kerouac ‘Burroughs Has Gone Insane’

William S. BurroughsOn the always fascinating site Letters of Note:

Early 1957, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg travelled to Tangier to join William Burroughs; their mission to assemble and edit Burroughs’ many fragments of work to form a ‘readable’ Naked Lunch manuscript. Kerouac arrived early and, during a break from socialising with Burroughs, the ‘old familiar lunatic’, wrote to Lucien Carr and his wife Francesca in order to update them on the project’s progress. That handwritten letter — essentially a fascinating account of Burroughs’ behaviour in his prime — can be seen [here].

For related material — including other correspondence, manuscript pages and photographs — I very highly recommend visiting Columbia University’s online exhibition, “Naked Lunch”: The First Fifty Years.

Transcript here:

Dear Lucien & Cessa — Writing to you by candlelight from the mysterious Casbah — have a magnificent room overlooking the beach & the bay & the sea & can see Gibraltar — patio to sun on, room maid, $20 a month — feel great but Burroughs has gone insane as, — he keeps saying he’s going to erupt into some unspeakable atrocity such as waving his dingdong at an Embassy part & such or slaughtering an Arab boy to see what his beautiful insides look like …

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  • Hadrian999

    anyone who has ever tried to read naked lunch can tell Burroughs was a complete f***ing lunatic

  • tonyviner

    I've got some Burroughs on audio. They should call him Mumbles, I guess he has his niche, though.

  • johnson

    lif is hard, and what about shoes? bit.ly/9rm508 or http://www.shoestimes.com.

  • E.B. Wolf

    Great link!
    Letters of Note is a goldmine.

    • Hadrian999

      there is one on there somewhere that is a letter from hunter s thonpson to a movie production company,
      best letter ever written

      • http://disinfo.com Disinformation

        Yeah that's mentioned on the site too:


        Letters of Note is a great site, agreed.

      • E.B. Wolf

        I was always partial to Doc's letter announcing his intent to surrender to Deputy District Attorney Lawson Willis during the Alleged incident which resulted in the Sharp Necklace Agreement.

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