In 1959, the painter, Brion Gysin, “accidentally” cut through a pile of newspapers with a Stanley Knife and changed the future of writing. William S. Burroughs, who would popularize this “cut-up method” would prefer to say that Gysin “cut into the future,” but regardless of semantics – “art is merely a three letter word, my dear” – that which was done could not be undone. Burroughs worked to hone the technique from purely haphazard to a careful, almost scientific, process wherein cut-ups acted as inspiration. Though it had, arguably, been done before by the founder of Dadaism, Tristan Tzara, the cut-up method became Burroughs’ obsession during the 1960s, spilling out of his prose and into the wider culture. Continue Reading…
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Philip Willey is one beat motherfucker. His website tells me he was born in England in 1941, but I don’t believe that for a second. The man is a stark raving lunatic in the truest and most wonderful sense, with a wicked humor that playfully tells the tragic tale of our most favorite of the Beat “Generation”, Mr. William S. Burroughs.
His CV is impressive, but I won’t bore you or intimidate you with just how impressive it is. He’s an artist, a writer, a countcultural explorer of the highest and most dangerous calibre. The man is a phenom, a beast. He once wrote a book about John Lennon that caused Lennon to remark, “Fuck, this guy’s good. I think I’ll work with him on my next album.” Lennon was shot the next day in an entirely unrelated incident.
Mr Willey – as you may refer to him, or he’s also good with regal terms – is also a painter. For $50 he’ll paint your living room, stealing minimally. But seriously, the man is an artist, and not just in the visual sense. Dig his work.
His latest publication, and Beatdom’s first of 2014, is a thoroughly brilliant and depraved account of the life of our most favorite Beat wife-killer, William S. Burroughs. Inspired by a meeting in a tea house – this was England, after all; where would you expect two people to meet? – this story tracks Burroughs’ life across the globe as a perpetual expat.
So don’t be a fucking moron all your life. Buy a goddamn copy now and support daring bastards like Willey in their efforts to save, change, and destroy the world as we know it. Fuck the system and buy the book. If you don’t, the most likely outcome is that he’ll starve to death, and you don’t want that on your conscience, do you?