reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
[personal profile] reviews_and_ramblings
William Seward Burroughs II was an American novelist, short story writer, satirist, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer.
Born: February 5, 1914, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: August 2, 1997, Lawrence, Kansas, United States
Education: Mexico City College
Harvard University
John Burroughs School
Los Alamos Ranch School
Lived: Hotel Chelsea
222 Bowery, New York, NY 10012, USA (40.72214, -73.99374)
Beat Hotel, Relais Hôtel du Vieux Paris, 9, rue Git-le-Coeur, 6th arr., 75006 Paris, France (48.85391, 2.34285)
8 Duke Street, W1U
Buried: Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA, GPS (lat/lon): 38.69043, -90.23154
Movies: William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, Naked Lunch, more
Albums: Dead City Radio, Call Me Burroughs, more

William S. Burroughs was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. Ian Sommerville was an electronics technician and computer programmer. He is known through his association with Burroughs's circle of Beat Generation figures and lived at Paris's so-called "Beat Hotel", when they were regulars there, becoming Burroughs's lover and "systems adviser". Around 1960, he programmed a random-sequence generator that Brion Gysin used in his cut-up technique. He and Gysin also collaborated in 1961 in developing the Dreamachine, a phonograph-driven stroboscope described as "the first art object to be seen with the eyes closed", and intended to affect the viewer's brain alpha wave activity. Sommerville along with Gysin and Burroughs collaborated on Let the Mice In, published in 1973. Sommerville died in a single car accident due to inexperience near Bath, England in 1976 shortly after obtaining his driving license. Burroughs' book My Education: A Book of Dreams, indeed largely composed of accounts of his dreams, includes dreams of talking with Sommerville.
Together from 1960 to 1976: 16 years.
Ian Sommerville (1940-1976)
William S. Burroughs (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997)

Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
ISBN-10: 1500563323
Release Date: September 21, 2014
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (print):
Amazon (kindle):

William S. Burroughs childhood home, at 4664 Pershing Place, St. Louis, MO 63108, described in “Junky” as a “solid, three-story, brick house in a large Midwest city,” sold in 2013 for $475,000. The real estate listing: “Welcome to 4664 Pershing Place. This home offers a rich history on one of the Central West End’s beautiful private streets. Once the childhood home of author William S. Burroughs (unconventional writer inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 1990), this gorgeous home boasts architectural details no longer affordable in home building today. The living room has mahogany paneling, leaded glass windows, and built-in book cases. There are five bedrooms including a master with a large walk-in closet. The large patio in the back yard establishes an easy going feeling for entertaining, much like a visit to the French Quarter in New Orleans.”

Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (print):
Amazon (kindle):

In 1974, after years of living in Paris and London, Allen Ginsberg gained for William Burroughs a contract to teach creative writing at the City College of New York. Burroughs successfully withdrew from heroin use and moved to New York. He eventually found an apartment, affectionately dubbed The Bunker at 222 Bowery. The dwelling was a partially converted YMCA gym, complete with lockers and communal showers. Burroughs shared this space for a time with the painter, Mark Rothko. This was also where painter Ferdinand Leger had his studio in 1940-1941.
Address: 222 Bowery, New York, NY 10012, USA (40.72214, -73.99374)
Type: Private Property
The Bowery is a street and neighborhood in the southern portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan. The street runs from Chatham Square at Park Row, Worth Street, and Mott Street in the south to Cooper Square at 4th Street in the north, while the neighborhood’s boundaries are roughly East 4th Street and the East Village to the north; Canal Street and Chinatown to the south; Allen Street and the Lower East Side to the east; and Little Italy to the west. In the XVII century, the road branched off Broadway north of Fort Amsterdam at the tip of Manhattan to the homestead of Peter Stuyvesant, Director-General of New Netherland. The street was known as Bowery Lane prior to 1807. "Bowery" is an anglicization of the Dutch bouwerij, derived from an antiquated Dutch word for "farm,” as in the XVII century the area contained many large farms. A grassroots community organization named Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN) in association with the community-based housing organization called the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council led the effort for creation of the historic district. The designation means that property owners will have financial incentives to restore rather than demolish old buildings on the Bowery. BAN was recognized for its preservation efforts with a Village Award from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation in 2013. The historic district runs from Chatham Square to Astor Place on both sides of the Bowery.
Notable queer residents at the Bowery:
• The writer William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) kept an apartment at the former YMCA building at 222 Bowery, known as the Bunker, from 1974 until he moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1981.
• The artist Cy Twombly (1928-2011) lived on the third floor of 356 Bowery during the 1960s. In 1964, Twombly met Nicola Del Roscio of Gaeta, who became his longtime companion. Twombly bought a house and rented a studio in Gaeta in the early 1990s.
Who: William Seward Burroughs II (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997)
William S. Burroughs was a novelist, short story writer, satirist, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author who wrote in the paranoid fiction genre, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the XX century.” In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of which grew into the Beat Generation, which was later a defining influence on the 1960s counterculture. After roommating with Allen Ginsberg in 1946 at 419 W 115th St and in 1952 at 206 E 7th St, in 1974 Burroughs moved at The Bunker, at 222 Bowery.

Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (print):
Amazon (kindle):

The Hotel Chelsea – also called the Chelsea Hotel, or simply the Chelsea – is a historic New York City hotel and landmark, known primarily for the notability of its residents over the years.
Address: 222 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011, USA (40.74431, -73.9969)
Type: Guest facility (open to public)
Phone:+1 616-918-8770
National Register of Historic Places: 77000958, 1977
Built between 1883 and 1885, Design by Hubert, Pirsson & Company (Philip Gengembre Hubert (1830-1911) and James W. Pirrson (1833-1888))
Opened for initial occupation in 1884, the twelve-story red-brick building that is now the Hotel Chelsea was one of the city’s first private apartment cooperatives. It was designed in a style that has been described variously as Queen Anne Revival and Victorian Gothic. Among its distinctive features are the delicate, flower-ornamented iron balconies on its facade, which were constructed by J.B. and J.M. Cornell and its grand staircase, which extends upward twelve floors. Generally, this staircase is only accessible to registered guests, although the hotel does offer monthly tours to others. At the time of its construction, the building was the tallest in New York. Hubert and Pirsson had created a "Hubert Home Club" in 1880 for "The Rembrandt,” a six-story building on West 57th Street intended as housing for artists. This early cooperative building had rental units to help defray costs, and also provided servants as part of the building staff. The success of this model led to other "Hubert Home Clubs,” and the Chelsea was one of them. Initially successful, its surrounding neighborhood constituted the center of New York’s theater district. However within a few years the combination of economic stresses, the suspicions of New York’s middle class about apartment living, the opening up of Upper Manhattan and the plentiful supply of houses there, and the relocation of the city’s theater district, bankrupted the Chelsea. In 1905, the building reopened as a hotel, which was later managed by Knott Hotels and resident manager A.R. Walty. After the hotel went bankrupt, it was purchased in 1939 by Joseph Gross, Julius Krauss, and David Bard, and these partners managed the hotel together until the early 1970s. With the passing of Joseph Gross and Julius Krauss, the management fell to Stanley Bard, David Bard’s son. On 18 June, 2007, the hotel’s board of directors ousted Bard as the hotel’s manager. Dr. Marlene Krauss, the daughter of Julius Krauss, and David Elder, the grandson of Joseph Gross and the son of playwright and screenwriter Lonne Elder III, replaced Stanley Bard with the management company BD Hotels NY; that firm has since been terminated as well. In May, 2011, the hotel was sold to real estate developer Joseph Chetrit for US$80 million. As of August 1, 2011, the hotel stopped taking reservations for guests in order to begin renovations, but long-time residents remain in the building, some of them protected by state rent regulations. The renovations prompted complaints by the remaining tenants of health hazards caused by the construction. These were investigated by the city’s Building Department, which found no major violations. In Nov. 2011, the management ordered all of the hotel’s many artworks taken off the walls, supposedly for their protection and cataloging, a move which some tenants interpreted as a step towards forcing them out as well. In 2013, Ed Scheetz became the Chelsea Hotel’s new owner after buying back five properties from Joseph Chetrit, his partner in King & Grove Hotels, and David Bistricer. Hotel Chelsea is now managed by Chelsea Hotels, formerly King & Grove Hotels. Restoration and renovation is underway and Hotel Chelsea plans to reopen in 2016.
Notable queer resident at Hotel Chelsea:
• William S. Burroughs (1914-1997), novelist, short story writer, satirist, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author who wrote in the paranoid fiction genre, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the XX century.”
• Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) wrote “2001: A Space Odyssey” while staying at the Chelsea.
• Quentin Crisp (1908-1999), writer and raconteur. His first stay in the Hotel Chelsea coincided with a fire, a robbery, and the death of Nancy Spungen.
• Musician, gay civil rights icon and Stonewall veteran Stormé DeLarverie (1920-2014) resided at the hotel for several decades.
• Poets Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) and Gregory Corso (1930-2001) chose it as a place for philosophical and artistic exchange.
• Brad Gooch (born 1952), writer. His 2015 memoir “Smash Cut” recounts life in 1970s and 1980s New York City, including the time Gooch spent as a fashion model, life with his then-boyfriend filmmaker Howard Brookner, living in the famous Chelsea Hotel and the first decade of the AIDS crisis.
• Herbert Huncke (1915-1996), writer and poet. In his last few years, he lived in room 828, where his rent came from financial support from Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead, whom Huncke never met. Herbert Huncke died in 1996 at age 81.
• Iggy Pop (born 1947), singer-songwriter, musician and actor. Pop’s career received a boost from his relationship with David Bowie when Bowie decided in 1972 to produce an album with Pop in England.
• Charles R. Jackson (1903-1968), author of “The Lost Weekend,” committed suicide in his room on September 21, 1968.
• Jasper Johns (born 1930), painter and printmaker. In 1954, after returning to New York, Johns met Robert Rauschenberg and they became long-term lovers. For a time they lived in the same building as Rachel Rosenthal. In the same period he was strongly influenced by the gay couple Merce Cunningham (a choreographer) and John Cage (a composer.)
• Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), who wrote “On the Road” there.
• Lance Loud (1951-2001), television personality, magazine columnist and new wave rock-n-roll performer. Loud is best known for his 1973 appearance in “An American Family,” a pioneer reality television series that featured his coming out, leading to his status as an icon in the gay community.
• Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989), photographer, known for his sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial subject-mater in the large-scale, highly stylized black and white medium of photography. The homoeroticism of this work fuelled a national debate over the public funding of controversial artwork.
• Larry Rivers (1923-2002), artist, musician, filmmaker and occasional actor. Poet Jeni Olin was his companion. Rivers also sustained a relationship with poet Frank O’Hara in the late 1950s and delivered the eulogy at O’Hara’s funeral in 1966.
• Patti Smith (born 1946), singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist. On November 17, 2010, she won the National Book Award for her memoir “Just Kids.” The book fulfilled a promise she had made to her former long-time roommate and partner, Robert Mapplethorpe.
• Virgil Thomson (1896-1989), composer and critic. In 1925 in Paris, he cemented his relationship with painter Maurice Grosser (1903-1986), who was to become his life partner and frequent collaborator. He and Grosser lived at Hotel Chelsea, where he presided over a largely gay salon that attracted many of the leading figures in music and art and theather, including Leonard Bernstein, Tennessee Williams, and many others. Virgil Thomson died on September 30, 1989, in his suite at the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan, aged 92.
• Gore Vidal (1925-2012), writer and a public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing.
• Rufus Wainwright (born 1973), lived in the Chelsea Hotel in New York City for six months, during which he wrote most of his second album.
• Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), playwright and author of many stage classics. Along with Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller he is considered among the three foremost playwrights in XX century American drama.
• Hotel Chelsea is often associated with the Warhol superstars, as Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey directed “Chelsea Girls” (1966), a film about his Factory regulars and their lives at the hotel. Chelsea residents from the Warhol scene included Edie Sedgwick, Viva, Ultra Violet, Mary Woronov, Holly Woodlawn, Andrea Feldman, Nico, Paul America, René Ricard, and Brigid Berlin.

Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (print):
Amazon (kindle):

The Beat Hotel was a small, run-down hotel of 42 rooms at 9 Rue Gît-le-Cœur in the Latin Quarter of Paris, notable chiefly as a residence for members of the Beat poetry movement of the mid-XX century.
Address: Relais Hôtel du Vieux Paris, 9, rue Git-le-Coeur, 6th arr., 75006 Paris, France (48.85391, 2.34285)
Type: Guest facility (open to public)
Phone: +33 1 44 32 15 90
The Beat Hotel was a "class 13" hotel, meaning bottom line, a place that was required by law to meet only minimum health and safety standards. It never had any proper name – "the Beat Hotel" was a nickname given by Gregory Corso, which stuck. The rooms had windows facing the interior stairwell and not much light. Hot water was available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The hotel offered the opportunity for a bath – in the only bathtub, situated on the ground floor – provided the guest reserved time beforehand and paid the surcharge for hot water. Curtains and bedspreads were changed and washed every spring. The linen was (in principle) changed every month. The Beat Hotel was managed by a married couple, Monsieur and Madame Rachou, from 1933. After the death of Monsieur Rachou in a traffic accident in 1957, Madame was the sole manager until the early months of 1963, when the hotel was closed. Besides letting rooms, the establishment had a small bistro on the ground floor. Due to early experiences with working at an inn frequented by Monet and Pissarro, Madame Rachou would encourage artists and writers to stay at the hotel and even at times permit them to pay the rent with paintings or manuscripts. One unusual thing that appealed to a clientele of bohemian artists was the permission to paint and decorate the rooms rented in whichever way they wanted. The hotel gained fame through the extended “family” of beat writers and artists who stayed there from the late 1950s to the early 1960s in a ferment of creativity. Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky first stayed there in 1957 and were soon joined by William S. Burroughs, Derek Raymond, Harold Norse and Gregory Corso, as well as Sinclair Beiles. It was here that Burroughs completed the text of “Naked Lunch” and began his lifelong collaboration with Brion Gysin. It was also where Ian Sommerville became Burroughs’ “systems advisor” and lover. Gysin introduced Burroughs to the Cut-up technique and with Sommerville they experimented with a “dream machine” and audio tape cut-ups. Here Norse wrote a novel, “Beat Hotel,” using cut-up techniques. Ginsberg wrote a part of his moving and mature poem “Kaddish” at the hotel and Corso wrote the mushroom cloud-shaped poem “Bomb.” There is now a small hotel, the four-star Relais du Vieux Paris, at that address. It displays photographs of several Beat personalities and describes itself as "The Beat Hotel.” In July 2009, as part of a major William Burroughs symposium, NakedLunch@50, a special tribute was held outside 9 Rue Gît-le-Coeur, with Jean-Jacques Lebel unveiling a plaque commemorative, now permanently hammered to the outside wall next to the main entrance, honoring the Beat Hotel’s seven most famous occupants: B. Gysin, H. Norse, G. Corso, A. Ginsberg, P. Orlovsky, I. Sommerville, W. Burroughs.
Who: William Seward Burroughs II (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997)
William Burroughs moved into the rundown hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris in 1959 when “Naked Lunch” was still looking for a publisher. Tangier, with its easy access to drugs, small groups of homosexuals, growing political unrest, and an odd collection of criminals, had become increasingly unhealthy for Burroughs. He went to Paris to meet Ginsberg and talk with Olympia Press. In so doing, he left a brewing legal problem, which eventually transferred itself to Paris. Paul Lund, a British former career criminal and cigarette smuggler whom Burroughs met in Tangier, was arrested on suspicion of importing narcotics into France. Lund gave up Burroughs, and some evidence implicated Burroughs in the possible importation of narcotics into France. Once again, the man faced criminal charges, this time in Paris for conspiracy to import opiates, when the Moroccan authorities forwarded their investigation to French officials. Yet it was under this impending threat of criminal sanction that Maurice Girodias published “Naked Lunch;” the publication helped in getting Burroughs a suspended sentence, since a literary career, according to Ted Morgan, is a respected profession in France. The "Beat Hotel" was a typical European-style boarding house hotel, with common toilets on every floor, and a small place for personal cooking in the room. Life there was documented by the photographer Harold Chapman, who lived in the attic room. This shabby, inexpensive hotel was populated by Gregory Corso, Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky for several months after “Naked Lunch” first appeared. The actual process of publication was partly a function of its "cut-up" presentation to the printer. Girodias had given Burroughs only ten days to prepare the manuscript for print galleys, and Burroughs sent over the manuscript in pieces, preparing the parts in no particular order. When it was published in this authentically random manner, Burroughs liked it better than the initial plan. International rights to the work were sold soon after, and Burroughs used the $3,000 advance from Grove Press to buy drugs (equivalent to approximately $24,353 in today’s funds.) “Naked Lunch” was featured in a 1959 Life magazine cover story, partly as an article that highlighted the growing Beat literary movement. During this time Burroughs found an outlet for material otherwise rendered unpublishable in Jeff Nuttall’s My Own Mag. Also, some of Burroughs poetry appeared in the avant garde little magazine Nomad at the beginning of the 1960s. Ian Sommerville (1940–1976) was an electronics technician and computer programmer. He is primarily known through his association with William S. Burroughs’s circle of Beat Generation figures, and lived at Paris’s so-called "Beat Hotel" by 1960, when they were regulars there, becoming Burroughs’s lover and "systems adviser.” He died in a single-car accident due to inexperience near Bath, England in 1976 shortly after obtaining his first driving licence.

Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532906695
ISBN-10: 1532906692
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (print):
Amazon Kindle:


reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)

September 2017

      1 2
345 6 7 8 9
10 11 1213 14 1516
171819 20212223

Most Popular Tags


All cover art, photo and graphic design contained in this site are copyrighted by the respective publishers and authors. These pages are for entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended. Should anyone object to our use of these items please contact by email the blog's owner.
This is an amateur blog, where I discuss my reading, what I like and sometimes my personal life. I do not endorse anyone or charge fees of any kind for the books I review. I do not accept money as a result of this blog.
I'm associated with Amazon/USA Affiliates Programs.
Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. However, some books were purchased by the reviewer and not provided for free. For information on how a particular title was obtained, please contact by email the blog's owner.
Days of Love Gallery - Copyright Legenda:

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 11:37 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios