Pulling Our Daisy: The Illusion of Spontaneity
Apr11

Pulling Our Daisy: The Illusion of Spontaneity

1959 was an important year in Beat Generation history. It was the year that William S. Burroughs published Naked Lunch from Paris’ Beat Hotel, that the Beats were first profiled in Life magazine, and the year the MGM released a sensationalist cinematic nightmare called The Beat Generation. In the previous three years, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac had shattered the notion that young people must conform to strict social codes, and...

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Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise
Apr09

Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise

Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise Faust Part Three Sad Catholic childhood as dark nuns weep in rain i And Saint Thérèse turns her head Vanilla pudding and snow swirls dust Milk Street ii Brown banks of Merrimac muck And child ghosts and fantasy Sax hides in darkness (Round Midnight) The Shadow Under porches Count Condu below evil Castle Castle Hill, Snake Hill Fury river roars white horses of the apocalypse Nightmares and...

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On Bitch Magazine’s Response to Joan’s Death
Mar31

On Bitch Magazine’s Response to Joan’s Death

One of our readers, Devin Fahey, recently posted a link to the Beatdom FB page. The link was to a provocatively titled article in Bitch magazine, “A Great Artist Kills His Wife—Now She’s Just a Quirky Footnote in His History.” The article itself is partly a response to reviews of Barry Miles’ excellent biography, Call Me Burroughs – a much-needed update on the life and times of one of America’s most...

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Call for Submissions: Beatdom #15
Mar25

Call for Submissions: Beatdom #15

The Beat Generation, it seems, dominated American culture between two major wars. The history books will tell you that they rose out of the Second World War, or as a the group emerged as a reaction to the post-WWII affluence of America. In fact, the Beats began as a circle of friends around Columbia University during WWII, and developing in the post-war era. Although not often dealt with in Beat literature, the war was of importance...

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CUT UP! An Anthology Inspired by the Cut-Up Method of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin
Mar21

CUT UP! An Anthology Inspired by the Cut-Up Method of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin

In Paris in the late Fifties the Beat Generation writer William Burroughs developed the Cut-Up Method. It involved taking a piece of finished text and cutting it into pieces – then rearranging those pieces to create a new text or work of art. Burroughs wrote that: “When you cut into the present the future leaks out.” His creative partner and pal Brion Gysin prophetically declared that: “All words are taped.” This...

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William S. Burroughs, C. J. Bradbury Robinson, and Williams Mix
Mar17

William S. Burroughs, C. J. Bradbury Robinson, and Williams Mix

Love or hate him, venerate or revile him, the life and work of William Seward Burroughs continues to inspire and intrigue. In addition to “The Work,” since his death in 1997 we have seen further biographies, celebrations, collections of letters, and critical studies, as well as restored and even previously unpublished texts. There has been reassessment and re-examination of various aspects of the life and work, starting with Burroughs...

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Burroughs: The Movie – an update
Mar01

Burroughs: The Movie – an update

Burroughs: The Movie at the ICA from PINBALL LONDON on Vimeo.

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Exiled on Beat Street
Feb17

Exiled on Beat Street

In 1957 Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky were in the midst of the obscenity trials in the US surrounding the publication of Ginsberg’s poem Howl. After being shunned by the clean-cut conservative American public, (who despised homosexuality and Ginsberg’s outspoken nature in the radicalised work) the pair went left to seek refuge in more liberal and artistic France. Eventually the couple sought exile with fellow Beat poet Gregory...

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