RealityStudio Podcasts

Reports from the Bibliographic Bunker

Jed Birmingham on William S. Burroughs Collecting

As is documented on the Bibliographic Bunker and on RealityStudio generally, William Burroughs was a master at manipulating multiple forms of media. From movies to magazines, photography to painting, Burroughs seemingly had his hand in, and touched on, just about every form of expression. The Bunker clearly lacks Burroughs’ promiscuity. True, I dabbled in a small range of options from audiovisual to zines but the opportunities are endless and my investigations into alternative media have been rather limited. Well, the time has come to fuck around with podcasting. Everybody else is doing it; let’s see if I can get lucky.

I refer you all to the opening statement of the Bunker from roughly a decade ago to get an idea of what the Bunker is all about. In general the song remains the same but maybe just maybe I can bust out a new move or two. Care to dance? The first podcast is ready for your listening pleasure. À la Buckley not Burroughs, hipsters, flipsters and finger poppin’ daddies, knock me your lobes and let me know what you think.

RealityStudio Podcasts

  1. Starting a Burroughs Collection
  2. The Nelson Lyon Collection of William S. Burroughs (part 1)
  3. The Nelson Lyon Collection of William S. Burroughs (part 2)
  4. Carl Weissner
  5. “The Big Fix,” Sacred Brunch, and the Dark Side of Collecting
Written by Jed Birmingham and published by RealityStudio on 12 Apr 2015.

16 thoughts on “RealityStudio Podcasts

  1. An excellent idea of yours Jed to post your podcast regarding your personal book collecting history of Burroughs beginning with The Dead Star; baring your soul as to possible mishaps perhaps and fears of making that right acquisition. For me, listening to you describe and explain your ideas, methods and reasons for building a Burroughs collection has only fortified a personification of everything you have published here in Reality Studios. Personalized it, as you said of two guys sitting at a bar and sharing thoughts on one’s own collection and experiences. I look forward to more. Hopefully it will help newcomers and anyone considering starting a collection whether it be Burroughs or Bowles etc., to get over any apprehensions or jitters as to what to acquire. The key word within your talk was “focus” and THAT is what was the foundation for your incredible collection. That and determination.

  2. As I messaged, Supervert about this podcast: “I am STAGGERED! Of course I would be, for obvious reasons. Did I say I want this embedded in my headstone? But the really wonderful thing is, JB’s devotion to books qua books, which is totally moving and utterly, inescapably humbling.

  3. Excellent story You did a great job of telling how you got into it, and then hit a pivotal point for me at the end, by explaining how Burroughs, in order to do what he did, had to haul his archive around with him! That speaks to the collector in all of us. Looking forward to more.

  4. Your Nelson Lyon collection installment podcast another excellent talk, your honest opinions at times downright funny especially Lyon’s choice of material regarding condition. Again, valuable information for first-time collectors, most importantly to get off the beaten track and explore offshoots and vital ephemeral pieces. Many worthy tips for the uninitiated. Wonderful job Jed!

  5. Both podcasts are thoroughly absorbing. Love the anecdote about Burroughs carrying his own archive around in podcast #1. In podcast #2, the discussion about whether to sell one’s collection to an institution or keep in private circulation was really interesting in terms of how meaning is created by conditions of production and exchange. Great stuff. The more philosophical or theoretical insights never overwhelm the engrossing level of detail and personal anecdote. Keep ’em coming.

  6. hello,
    excellent idea, podcasting for me is a great way of infotainment. i do a little one myself. a technical advise. there are great podcasting software plug-ins i can recommend. first a digital mastering service called auphonic ( and then a pretty well advanced podcast plug-in for your website named podlove (
    thanks for your engagement

  7. Hey, just listened to your Carlissimo podcast. Coupla things I could correct about “The Braille Film” production and why the pages were so thick and stiff, but don’t have time now. Just wanna say you caught him exactly, by which I mean you zeroed in on precisely those characteristics of Carl’s that made him so memorable and such a mensch — the way he laughed at the ridiculous stuff, for instance, and how encyclopedic his frame of reference was. I’m so grateful.

  8. Podcast 4 a wonderful testimonial to Carl Weissner, the man and his work, beginning with a disgruntled displeasure of Carl’s Braille Film having gone without a bid at the Nelson Lyon auction which could have been acquired for $75. Now, one copy offered online has an asking price of $300. So, read Carl’s Braille Film available in other sources, and if having the actual book, regard it as a work of art, a collector’s item to be unopened as one would with uncut pages.

  9. Podcast 5 – wonderful explorations and revelations.
    It seemed to finish mid-sentence though…..
    I’m off to see where I put that anthology with Big Fix. I know I had it but I have a terrible feeling I might have read one of the stories and thought it all too dire to keep a hold of….

  10. Another excellent and engaging podcast. The promotion in which Alex comes to my home and fixes me a sandwich seems very appealing.

  11. These are very interesting and informative broadcasts. Great material. I’m wondering though, is anyone out there still doing audio cut/ups and Present Time Exercises? I’ve been listening to the HA Transmissions out of the UK, that seem to be the only people currently involved in this sphere:
    Does anyone know of any similar audio work?

  12. I am putting together a book about the RAT newspaper in New York City, 1968-1969. As part of this project, I will be publishing the letters and articles that WSB sent from London back then. You can see the cover poster for WSB and a copy of one of his letters at . I would love to hear your feedback as I am also a fan of WSBurroughs.

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