Forgive me if this has been presented previously. I am no web mogul and do not know how one would search precisely for information regarding this topic. Like attempting to seek information on your beloved greatgrandaunt Jenna Jameson, died 1903.
I am curious regarding any information on the photos of WS Burroughs. Photos made BY Burroughs, as differed from photos OF Burroughs, which of course are legion and quite easily found. It is known that Burroughs was at least an amateur photographic enthusiast, as references to cameras, photographs, and photographing are to be found throughout his work and his letters. The epilogue to Queer contains notable passages of Lee wandering around Panama City attempting to photograph a corrugated iron shack, a dark indian fisherman, a negro in a felt hat. Various passages from The Job report Burroughs' attempting to close down a cafe in London (excuse if I remember the details wrongly, I write from Buenos Aires and my current travelling library lacks this specific volume) by photographing it, recording street sounds, etc. A letter to Ginsberg dated 19 Feb 1955, thanking him for money sent, and detailing his being just about to pawn his camera. Other letters I cannot now locate make mention of desire to retain camera. Excerpt from intro to Paris Review interview, describing the state of Burroughs' St. Louis hotel room: "A Zeiss Ikon camera in a scuffed leather case lay on one of the twin beds beside a copy of Field and Stream." Some photographs are displayed in the City Lights published "The Burroughs File" stuck in between "chapters."
This all only to illustrate that Burroughs was, for all intents, at least somewhat of a photographer, if only one with the standard traveller's interest in photographing his surroundings as he journeys about. So much ado has been made over seemingly every other facet of Burroughs' life and output, yet I have not yet seen anything yet which has dealt with his photographic output. This listing, I do not know how old, for a sale of Burroughs' "early" photographs is the only thing I have seen: http://tinyurl.com/5vlt89y
The photos (click the "assorted photos by WSB link, bottom left, also collages 1-7) indicate a fellow with an eye for composition and an at least fair handle on proper exposure, grasp of which comes only with care and interest and much practice.
I have seen, even recently, attention given to Ginsberg's photos. We have seen gallery exhibitions of Burroughs' shotgun paintings. Scrutiny has been given to every other manifestation of Burroughs' output, writings, cut-ups, paintings, motion films, audio experiments, miscellaneous media, etc., yet nothing on his photographs. Can anyone here suppose why this may be? If the world is interested in the photos of A. Ginsberg, certainly there would be interest in Burroughs' photographs as well.
Perhaps the photos have all gone missing. Perhaps the negatives did not survive the constant movings around. Perhaps they are buried beneath the heavy hands of some private collector refusing their being shared. Perhaps they have all been lost, or misplaced, and will surface in 100 years in an attic in Mexico, like Capa's Spanish war negatives. If anyone has read anything or knows anything regarding the photography of Burroughs, I am curious about it. He traveled much, mentioned photographing at least some, and it stands to reason he made an amount of pictures which would likely be, to those of we with an interest, absolutely fascinating.
Thank you for any information or discussion.