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 Post subject: Re: James Grauerholz re Burroughs letters 1959-1961
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:45 am 
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London as the lost years... here's my tuppence - a lot of it was class - WSB didn't quite fit in to London's publishing social milieu, despite his straight guy appearance....Bill with a glass of sherry in his hand, small talking pearl-strung dowagers - ha! His trust-fund background alienated him from the neo-beat, angry-young-men market or what was left of it after being succesfully commodified by the literary Left - who themselves were never quite at ease with the sense of apocalypse and nihilism in Bill's work. NL could never quite throw off its porn status so the big movie money was frightened away. DFT was a publishing mistake. The pathetic Jonathan Cape publicity machine killed Wild Boys dead. As did the Angry Brigade events. And on top of all this, yes, essentially, even the intellectual establishment couldn't cope with work at the very frontiers of imagination and experience ... they never could and never will. England was a monarchy governed by frightened philistines - still is.


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 Post subject: Re: James Grauerholz re Burroughs letters 1959-1961
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:32 am 
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Yep. Explains a few of the more caustic passages in The Revised Boy Scout Manual towards England. He just never really fit in anywhere, did he?


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 Post subject: Re: James Grauerholz re Burroughs letters 1959-1961
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:01 am 
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Quote:
Interesting point about Gysin. Frustrated writer?


Perhaps. I started reading The Process a while ago and was underwhelmed. Most of his calligraphy scribbles don't do much for me either.

Quote:
And yeah. Gysin and WSB. Purely platonic relationship? Was always a bit confused about that.


As far as I'm aware, Burroughs and Gysin were never lovers.

In fact, I get the impression that Burroughs had something of the homosexual equivalent of the "Madonna/Whore" complex, where sleazy rent boys were for sex, his intellectual equals were for friendship. There were some exceptions to this (Ginsberg, Sommerville), but that did seem to be the overall pattern.


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 Post subject: Re: James Grauerholz re Burroughs letters 1959-1961
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:01 pm 
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edward_de_vere wrote:
Quote:
And yeah. Gysin and WSB. Purely platonic relationship? Was always a bit confused about that.


As far as I'm aware, Burroughs and Gysin were never lovers.

In fact, I get the impression that Burroughs had something of the homosexual equivalent of the "Madonna/Whore" complex, where sleazy rent boys were for sex, his intellectual equals were for friendship. There were some exceptions to this (Ginsberg, Sommerville), but that did seem to be the overall pattern.


Not sure about Gysin but Bill liked young men.

Never really understood that bitchy old queen archetype till I worked at the Y. A Capote and an elderly Philipino. Capote would skulk around handing out free smokes to break the ice, he's a non-smoker. Philipino would always offer to spot you on the bench.

They hated each other and were usually bashing/warning us about the other. My guess is they perceived each other as a lecherous monster. They even had their territories staked out. Philipino was feeling some (straight?) teen's muscles and Capote came in, "YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE" - they got into it and a portly butch chick tried to break it up. Suddenly a lot of Naked Lunch made sense.


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 Post subject: Re: James Grauerholz re Burroughs letters 1959-1961
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:37 pm 
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From P340, the most excited and gushing expression of fatherly pride I have ever seen (letter to Peter Matson):

"Glad to hear Billy's book is doing well. Any indications on The Job sales in the States?"

Wonder if there was a wee bit of jealousy there, or whether the two men ever had a sense of writing rivalry. I mean, Billy was accomplishing things writing-wise younger than his father ever did, after all...


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 Post subject: Re: James Grauerholz re Burroughs letters 1959-1961
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:50 am 
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- Why were the publication dates of the books written & published during the period covered in the book left out of the chronology at the beginning, except for the Olympia & Grove editions of NL & and the Olympia SM? There were at least a dozen. Omission to be corrected in future editions?

- Re: the letters to his son, the one on pg 49 is signed "Love, William Burroughs."

- He was a bigger stoner than I realized.


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 Post subject: Re: James Grauerholz re Burroughs letters 1959-1961
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:34 am 
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at last, at last my copy from Strand has arrived here in grey/gray London.. taken 4 weeks to do so..waiting for it, I felt in some time-warp, transported back 50 years when life, love and business trundled along at a slower pace... and now the book is in my hands and the time warp is real!!..
I thought I'd do a cover-to-cover session in a day but impossible... so many nuggets panning out for pause and reflection in the first gleam of light.. and a fair amount of dross as well but never mind.
The letters to Billy Jr are fascinating ... to catch it that his father sent him at the age of 12 the book that launched a 1000 obscenity trials is worth the ticket price alone...
Not 100% certain the editorial work is up to the Oliver Harris scratch mark...take, for instance, page 6 footnote 14- I'm pretty sure most readers would come to this volume with enough background knowledge to know the circumstances of Joan's death but for anyone new to WSB, to not say that the shooting was accidental, is remiss and, dare I say it, clumsy if not just lazy editorial work.
And I'm puzzled why there's a little fuss made about spelling in the Introduction and yet no comment on 'foreword' instead of 'forward' page 64, ...and p93, 'minor' instead of 'mynah'. Paul Bowles had an aviary on his balcony but the mynah, as I recall, had to be separate from it in the main room. It would have been one of the larger birds but I can't think a pun would be intended.
And p12.. what's the fucking (pardon my english) point of telling us Kif can be Kief? it could be Keef, Mr Morgan, or Keyf...or Kiyf ... (Jim exits to go find his Tuli Kupferberg marijuana mantra, last listened to 50 years ago, and chill out....)


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