Tag Archives | William S. Burroughs

Jimmy Page Meets William Burroughs In New York City

LZ-75

The following is excerpted from LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour. Copyright © 2010 by Stephen Davis. Reprinted by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

The long black limousine carrying Jimmy Page to his encounter with William Burroughs made its way down Fifth Avenue in a light snowfall. The car stopped in front of 77 Franklin Street in a dark, shabby neighborhood of vacant or abandoned industrial lofts that were slowly being reclaimed by young artists and urban pioneers. Jimmy was greeted at street level by James Grauerholz, Burroughs’s young assistant, who led Page up four steep flights of stairs to Burroughs’s loft. The sixty-one- year-old writer, dressed in a coat and tie set off by an embroidered Moroccan vest, extended his hand and offered his guest a cup of tea, which Page happily accepted. Also on hand was a photographer to document the interview, and Crawdaddy’s publisher, Josh Feigenbaum, whose idea this meeting had been.… Read the rest

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Interview With BoingBoing’s David Pescovitz

David "Pesco" Pescovitz

BoingBoing’s David “Pesco” Pescovitz talks to Technoccult about his lifelong interest in the weird and the wonderful:

What is the most far-out, fringe or incredible idea that you think might actually be correct?

From the very first time I encountered Jacques Vallee’s idea that we’re living in a Control System, and also read similar ideas from John Keel, Hans Moravec, Rudy Rucker, and others, I’ve always gone back to that notion whenever I want to blow my own mind.And this was decades before The Matrix.

Could you elaborate on that idea?

In recent years, mathematicians, phlosophers, and physicists like Nick Bostrom, Ed Fredkin, Stephen Wolfram, Seth Lloyd, and others have explored the idea that we’re living in a simulation or that the universe is a quantum computer.

Now, I don’t pretend to understand the physics or math underlying these theories, and I recognize that they are just theories and difficult to prove, but the very fact that so many brilliant people from a variety of disciplines are seriously asking these questions delights me to no end.

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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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A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter: Is This How Artificial Intelligence Begins?

Very weird. I agree with the author of this article, does sound like it came from the mind of William S. Burroughs. Scott Timberg writes on io9.com

Evil CubeA devious device looking suspiciously like the pain box from Dune — or a minimalist sculpture from the ’60s — is now selling on eBay. In fact, that’s all it does. This robot sells itself on eBay every week.

Called “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009),” by the artist Caleb Larsen, the imposing cube has a mind of its own, literally:

Hooked up to the internet, it will put itself up for sale every seven days. Right now — the auction lasts until Thursday — you can land it for just north of four grand. But a week later, the cube will offer itself up for sale again.

It seems to be for real: That is, this thing comes with a legal contract binding the collector to facilitating the sale, and apparently this robot artwork is supposed to change hands every week — forever.

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William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (Documentary)

Via www.burroughsthemovie.com:

The film investigates the life of legendary beat author and American icon, William S. Burroughs. Born the heir of the Burroughs’ adding machine estate, he struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems and self. He was forced to deal with the tragedy of killing his wife and the repercussions of neglecting his son. His novel, Naked Lunch, was one of the last books to be banned by the U.S. government. Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer testified on behalf of the book. The courts eventually overturned their decision in 1966, ruling that the book had important social value. It remains one of the most recognized literary works of the 20th century.

William Burroughs was one of the first to cross the dangerous boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s, and write about his experiences. Eventually he was hailed the godfather of the beat generation and influenced artists for generations to come. However, his friends were left wondering, did William ever find happiness? This extremely personal documentary breaks the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time.

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