I was introduced to William S. Burroughs back in the early ’60s. As so often happens, a teacher made mention of this strange author who was cutting up his writings and pasting them back together in what purported to be a more imaginative order. I had to see this for myself so I ran over to Papa Bach and grabbed my own copy of Naked Lunch. At that time I read about half of the book and set it aside to allow my brain cells to calm down; in the summer I started it all over again and made it all the way to the last page. Like reading a novel in a foreign language, I felt I had a vague understanding of what went on in the narrative but certainly wasn’t fully satisfied that I understood Naked Lunch and William S. Burroughs.
Since that time I have read Naked Lunch (or parts of it) several times and have a much better understanding of both the novel and the technique Burroughs used to “write” it.
Continue reading “Mister Lee”
Kathy Acker (née Karen Lehmann; April 18, 1947 – November 30, 1997)
was an American experimental novelist, punk poet, playwright,
essayist, postmodernist and sex-positive feminist writer. She was
strongly influenced by the Black Mountain School, William S.
Burroughs, David Antin, French critical theory, philosophy and
I went back and reviewed my previous entries on Kathy Acker in this weblog and surprisingly, most of my writing on the subject must have been lost in an earlier edition of my opinionated rants (probably in the bit bucket at Apple). So here is a quick introduction to Acker and her art. The quotation above is from Wikipedia (you might want to go there for a deeper discussion of the author).
Continue reading “I Want Everything”
If you aren’t aware of Snag Films, give this interesting internet channel a peek. It is also available on the television if you have an internet connection such as a Roku.
The film I just watched is titled Heavy Petting and gives a good overview of teenage sexuality in the 1950s (or at least something like what was represented in the movies and what several celebrity-types remember).
But the real magic that comes in this movie is the fascinating dual-interview with William S. Burroughs and Alan Ginsberg. They are very much missed. But to add even more value to this uneven documentary film they have included the slightly wilder responses of the late, great Abbie Hoffman.
Just for those images it’s worth watching this film more than once.
Reading William S. Burroughs (Cities of the Red Night) and he writes in the chapter titled “Etranger Qui Passait” that a contingent of mercenaries is traveling across the desert
… naked except for desert boots, packs, and belts with eighteen-inch Bowie knives and ten shot revolvers chambered for a high-speed 22-caliber cartridge. They have automatic carbines of the same caliber in their packs, with thirty-shot clips. These weapons may be needed if a time warp dumps an old western posse in their laps.
The NRA and every Right-Wing gun nut in the country is free to use the logic expressed by Burroughs: after all, it makes just as much sense as the wing-nut excuses we hear from most of these people.
Continue reading “Finally, a good reason to carry a gun”