Burroughs in Paris


William Burroughs and Maurice Gerodias.

More specifically, William Burroughs photographed in 1959 for Life magazine by Loomis Dean. This was no doubt a story based around the publication of The Naked Lunch by Olympia Press: in the full set there’s shots of Burroughs with Olympia boss Maurice Gerodias, some pictures of the author signing copies of his novel (which can also be seen resting on the newspaper above), and many shots of the shabby interior of the Beat Hotel where the walls of Burroughs’ and Brion Gysin’s rooms are decorated with Gysin’s calligraphic paintings.


Burroughs and Gysin.

Over at the Time archives there’s an amusingly snotty review from 1962 of the first US publication of The Naked Lunch. The reviewer isn’t credited but they trot out details of Burroughs’ history with the implication that nasty people can’t possibly be good or worthwhile writers. In 1962 the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was won by something called The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor. What? Who? Exactly.


Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The William Burroughs archive

2 thoughts on “Burroughs in Paris”

  1. Though they were powerful propaganda pushers for decades, I think we all know how relevant Time and LIfe magazines are today. Which is to say, not at all.

  2. These are excellent, particularly the domestic shots of Burroughs and Gysin. The room may be shabby, but I admire how fastidious it all appears.
    Once again thank you,
    PS thanks for the weekend link, I have been swamped with school, it boosted my ego and “hits”.

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