My Own Mag

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Reports from the Bibliographic Bunker

Jed Birmingham on William S. Burroughs Collecting

In the introduction to the bibliography of his work prepared by Joe Maynard and Barry Miles, William Burroughs spoke about how the “little mags” were a lifeline for him at a time when he had very few hopes for publishing his work. One of the most important of these independent publications was Jeff Nuttall’s My Own Mag: “1964… No. 4, Calle Larachi, Tangier. My Own Mag… smell of kerosene heaters, hostile neighbors, stones thudding against the door. Jeff Nuttall sent me a copy of My Own Mag and asked me to contribute. I recall that delivery of the first copies to which I had contributed was heralded by a wooden top crashing through the skylight.”

RealityStudio is proud to present a comprehensive archive of Jeff Nuttall’s influential zine. This archive features every page of every now rare issue, bibliographies, context and discussion by Jed Birmingham and Robert Bank. Special thanks are due in particular to Bank, curator of jeff-nuttall.co.uk, who provided the imagery and ample documentation of the archive. In an essay, Bank also explains how Nuttall’s cartoon “Perfume Jack” provides evidence for the publication history of My Own Mag.

To explore My Own Mag, you can read the essays and bibliographies listed below. You can also view every page of every issue of My Own Mag by following the links to each issue.

My Own Mag 1

My Own Mag #1
November 1963

No Burroughs appearance. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 1. Copies of this first issue were sent to Ray Gosling, Anselm Hollo, and William Burroughs.)

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My Own Mag 2

My Own Mag #2
December 1963

“From H.B. William Burroughs” (2:3) (C93) January or February 1964. The cover describes it as “An Odour Fill Periodical.” (Bunker Note: Sinclair 2. Acknowledged by Burroughs as his first appearance in inscription at Lyon Sale. Gosling believed this to be the first issue.)

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My Own Mag 3

My Own Mag #3
February 1964

No Burroughs appearance. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 3)

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My Own Mag 4

My Own Mag #4
March 1964

“Warning Warning Warning Warning Warning Warning Warning Warning Warning” (4:4) (C94). Contains a 32 square grid manuscript. The cover describes the issue as “very late edition” and it is burned away in part on the bottom. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 4)

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My Own Mag 5

My Own Mag #5
May 1964

“The Moving Times” (5:3-4) (C100). Described as “Special Tangiers Edition,” the cover has a full-page drawing of William Burroughs wearing a fez. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 5. Bomb Culture and Bank’s reading of Perfume Jack supports this conclusion)

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My Own Mag 6

My Own Mag #6
July 1964

“Afternoon Ticker Tape” (6: 1-2) (C95). The Burrough (p. 1-2) edited by WSB and mimeographed by Nuttall, and it appears as the last two pages of My Own Mag. Run-off pages from the My Own Mag insertion were sent by Nuttall to WSB in Tangier who issued them there in Ex 3, Tangier 1964. A folder containing a variety of loose and stapled sections in no fixed order, one of which was The Burrough. Described on the cover as “Cut Up Issue,” most pages have been cut into eight squares which are stapled at edges to backing sheet. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 6)

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My Own Mag 7

My Own Mag #7
July 1964

“Bring Your Problems to Lady Sutton Fix” (7:2,4) (C97); “Over the Last Skyscrapers a Silent Kite” (7:7-9) (C98). The title of the magazine is on page three and shows through a hole burned on first page. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 7. Burroughs cut-up comes from an article dated May 1964. I suggested that this could be issue 8. As the date for the Festival and Bank’s essay proves, such a reliance on Burroughs to date the magazines is a mistake.)

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My Own Mag 8

My Own Mag #8
August 1964

“What in Horton Hotel Rue Vernet” (8:9-10) (C99). Described as “Special Festival Issue.” (Bunker Note: Sinclair 8; Burroughs’ cut-up includes a dateline from April 1964 prompting me to suggest this issue was Issue 7. As the date for the Festival and Bank’s essay proves, such a reliance on Burroughs to date the magazines is a mistake.)

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My Own Mag 9

My Own Mag #9
November 1964

“Extracts from Letter to Homosap” (9:11) (C101); “Personals Special to The Moving Times” (9:12) (C102). Has a special “Fall Out Shelter” cover and a brown-green stain running down the front. A small square has been cut from bottom of front page. “Special Post-Election” issue. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 9)

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My Own Mag 10

My Own Mag #10
December 1964

All British Issue; No Burroughs appearance. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 10)

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My Own Mag 11

My Own Mag #11
February 1965

“Dec. 29: Tuesday Was the Last Day for Singing Years” (11:14) (C105); Letter to Jeff Nuttall (11:12) (C106); Collage (11:13) (C107). In the form of a letter to Nuttall. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 11)

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My Own Mag 12

My Own Mag #12
May 1965

“The Last Words of Dutch Schultz” (12:12-14) (C111); Letter to Sunday Times (12:15-16) (C113). (Bunker Note: Sinclair 12)

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My Own Mag 13

My Own Mag #13
August 1965

“The Dead Star” (13:7-13) (C122). One of 500 numbered copies. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 13)

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My Own Mag 14

My Own Mag #14
December 1965

Burroughs provides quotes to a Carl Weissner piece. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 14)

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My Own Mag 15

My Own Mag #15
April 1966

“Nut Note on the Column Cut up Thing” (15:15) (C137); “WB Talking” (15:15) (C138); “Quantities of the Gas Girls” (15:16) (C139); Untitled (15:19) (C140). (Bunker Note: Sinclair 15)

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My Own Mag 16

My Own Mag #16
May 1966

No Burroughs appearance (Bunker Note: Sinclair 16)

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My Own Mag 17

My Own Mag #17
September 1966

No Burroughs appearance. (Bunker Note: Sinclair 17)

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Moving Times MOM Parody

The Moving Times
A My Own Mag Parody


Written by Jed Birmingham and published by RealityStudio on 28 February 2006. Updated with Moving Times (MOM Parody) on 13 March 2009.
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Comments Total: 4
Dale
May 23 2009
5:15 am

Hey thanks so much for putting these gems up on your site. They are so cool! I really dig what My Own Mag tried. This is the stuff that sparks the mind! Thanks!

Mike Cole
Jan 2 2012
11:41 am

Jed, Any idea of the print run of these? Not individually but in general. Thanks

Jed
Jan 28 2012
3:00 pm

This is speculation on my part but the general rule of thumb with mimeo publications is that the stencil becomes unusable after around 500 copies. I would suspect that the later issues approached that and in fact Issue 13 was 500 copies, but run offset not mimeo’d. The early issues, particularly 1 and 2 I would bet around 100 or so. Nuttall gave 20 to interested parties and gave the rest to Better Books to sell.

Roger Bygott
Mar 23 2015
4:03 pm

Is there a downloadable copy of the Moving Times you have at the bottom there? I’m intrigued to see a partial view of an article ‘The Real Climate’ by Kenneth White. Been following his work for many years and have most of his published work, so I would like to read his article. he had a connection with Trocchi – I think in Paris (though I may be wrong on that).

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