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Chicken

What Are You Reading?

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So this is from a couple of years ago, but somehow just recently made its way to a FB page. Thought it might be of interest as Burroughs has been mentioned recently :) It's fascinating to see the humanity behind some of humanity's great figures. Here are a couple of several excerpts of letters you can read in the link at the bottom. Love him to bits for explaining his fluid grammar in the post script. I know the feeling. Then there's his advice in a letter to Billy Burroughs Jr. 'to anyone contemplating a literary career'. Bet you know what it is without reading it. You're right.

Selected Letters of William S. Burroughs

January 26, 2012 | by William Burroughs

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WSB [Paris] to Laura Lee and Mortimer Burroughs [Palm Beach, Florida]
[ca. November 17, 1959]

Dear Mother and Dad,
I am sorry.. Can only say time accelerated and skidded—No time to eat as you see in the photo—(Taken by my friend Brion [Gysin] the painter, certainly the greatest painter living and I do not make mistakes in the art world. Time will bear me out.. Brion used to run The 1001 Nights, restaurant night club in Tanger but at that time we barely spoke disliking each other intensely for reasons that seemed adequate to both parties.. Situation and per­ sonnel changed.. The 1001 Nights closed for dislocations and foreclosures and Brion woke up in Paris.. And I, stricken by la foie coloniale—the colonial liver, left the area on advice of my phy­ sician.. “You want to get some cold weather on that liver, Bur­ roughs. A freezing winter would make a new man of you,” he said.
So when I ran into Brion in Paris it was Tanger gossip at first then the discovery that we had many other interests in common..
Like all good painters he is also a brilliant photographer as you see.. A curious old time look about the photo like I’m fading into grandfather or some other relative many years back in time..)
Rather a long parenthesis.. It strikes me as regrettable that one should reserve a special and often lifeless style for letter to parents.. So I shift to my usual epistolary style.. When my correspondents reproach me for tardiness, I can only say that I give as much atten­ tion to a letter as I do to anything I write, and I work at least six and sometimes sixteen hours a day..
I am considering a shift of headquarters from The Continent— or possibly England—All we expatriates hear now is: “Johnny Go Home”and may be a good idea at that..Terrible scandal in Morocco.. Cooking oil cut with second run motor oil has paralyzed 9544 per­ sons.. The used motor oil was purchased at the American Air Base and was not labeled unfit for human consumption .. The Moroccan press holds U.S. responsible not to mention 9,544 Moroccans and a compound interest of relatives.. “Johnny stay out of Morocco.”
I want to leave here in one month more or less a few days and make Palm Beach for Christmas if convenient.
I was sorry to hear that Mote has been ill.. Take care of your­ self—Dad—and get well. I will see you all very soon —
Love
Bill
PS. If my writing seems at times ungrammatical it is not due to carelessness or accident. The English language—the only really adjustable language—is in state of transition.. Transition and the old grammar forms no longer useful..
Best.
Bill

 

WSB [London] to Billy Burroughs Jr. [Savannah, Georgia]
Sept 6, 1973
8 Duke Street
St James
Flat 18
London SW1
England

Dear Bill:
Enclose check for 500 dollars. It is indeed difficult to make a living as a writer and my advice to anyone contemplating a literary career is to have some other trade. My own choice would be plumb­ ing, but I suppose they have a tight union to keep this twenty dollar an hour with two lazy worthless assistants to hand the head man his tools good thing from being swamped. I have a friend in New York who is a painter and can’t make a living at that, who makes 50 dollars per day fixing up lofts . . . (very hard work but he gets all the jobs he can handle and works when he needs to.)
I never heard of sucking lemons to keep awake. Ice tea, Coca Cola in hot weather, coffee in cold weather, work well enough sup­ plemented with no doze caffeine pills. Caffeine is by far the safest stimulant doesn’t louse up coordination and appetite.
Just back from a holiday in the Greek islands. Great swimming. Even fell off a horse. All right for a visit. Still looking for a reason­ able place to live. All the best to you and Karen
Love
Bill

Rub Out the Words: The Letters of William S. Burroughs, 1959–1974 edited by Bill Morgan will be published by Ecco on February 7. Final letter from Cursed from Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs Jr., edited and compiled by David Ohle, published by Soft Skull Press.

You can read the remaining excerpts here: http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2012/01/26/selected-letters-of-william-s-burroughs/

 

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^^^Nice...just don't put a gun in his hands. ;)

I feel sorry for anyone named 'Chicken' so I support this thread. ;)

Just started this book after finally muddling my way thru "Saving Capitalism".

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^^^^ OK, so I've figured out that when you add square brackets around a letter within a text, it creates strikethrough lines that you can't get rid of fyi... 

^^^Nice...just don't put a gun in his hands. ;)

I feel sorry for anyone named 'Chicken' so I support this thread. ;)

Just started this book after finally muddling my way thru "Saving Capitalism".

 

:D

and

;)

partly in response to your top two lines, but also as they relate to the word of the year as chosen by the brilliant people at OED, because it's not even a word, but... wait for it... an emoji. This is surely a modern sign of the apocalypse: the four horsemen and an emoji "that best reflected the ethos, mood, and pre-occupation of 2015." What in the holy hell?!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/oxford-dictionaries-word-year-emoji-tears-joy-1.3322428

 

Anyway, I've been critical of tech for reading, but here's a unique way in which it very much helps us appreciate great worksof the past. Many fragile writings are being digitized, and because of it, we now have unprecedented access to Beowulf!

The original manuscript of Beowulf is available online

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It's the bottom one in this link: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?index=0&ref=Cotton_MS_Vitellius_A_XV

LOOK you can zoom in and see the texture of the parchment and examine the beautiful writing and see where the scribes pressed firmly and lightly! It's exquisite I love it!

http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=cotton_ms_vitellius_a_xv_f094r

 

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Steven Pinker "The Language Instinct"

Edited by Freeyyaa
mistake

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Kings and Queens of England - A Dark History, 1066 to the Present Day

Being Royalty is kind of like winning the lottery....it ain't all it's cracked up to be, especially when you're screwing family members...literally !

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Shakespeare's Face by Stephanie Nolen and a group of experts in their respective fields. It's about the Sanders portrait and proving that it is indeed one of Shakespeare while he was alive, the only one of its kind (so far as we know up to now). A fascinating historical mystery revealed. I'm loving it!

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Like Janis, yesterday would also have been Edgar Allan Poe's birthday. I'll choose a short story to read tonight, but wanted to share some animations that were created in his honour:

Celebrate Edgar Allan Poe’s Birthday With Three Animations of “The Tell-Tale Heart”

January 19th, 2016

 

 

Today is Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, or would be had he lived to be 207 years old. I can’t imagine he would have relished the prospect. When Poe did meet his end, it was under mysterious and rather awful circumstances, fittingly (in a grimly ironic sort of way) for the man often credited with the invention of detective fiction and the perfecting of the gothic horror story.

“True!” begins his most famous story, “The Tell-Tale Heart“—”nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am,” and we surely believe it. But when he finishes his intimate introduction to us, we are much less inclined to trust his word:

But why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses—not destroyed—not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily—how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

Have we ever been confronted with a more unnerving and unreliable narrator? Poe’s genius was to draw us into the confidence of this terrifying character and keep us there, rapt in suspense, even though we cannot be sure of anything he says, or whether the entire story is nothing more than a paranoid nightmare. And it is that, indeed.

In the animation above by Annette Jung—adapted from Poe’s chilling tale—the madman Ed resolves to take the life of an old man with a creepy, staring eye. In this version, however, a central ambiguity in Poe’s story is made clear. We’re never entirely sure in the original what the relationship is between Poe’s narrator and the doomed old man. In Jung’s version, they are father and son, and the old man is rendered even more grotesque, Ed’s psychological torments even more… shall we say, animated, with clearly comic intent. Jung publishes a web comic calledApplehead, and on her short film’s website (in German), she refers to her “Tell-Tale Heart” as “an animated satire.”

 

 

Poe’s talent for sustaining controlled hyperbole and for creating unforgettable images like the old man’s evil eye and loudly beating heart make his work especially inviting to animators, and we’ve featured many animations of that work in the past. Just above, see the original animated “Tell-Tale Heart” from 1954. Narrated by the ideally creepy-voiced James Mason, the film received an “X” rating in the UK upon its release, then went on to an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short (though it did not win). Just below, Aaron Quinn—who has also animated Poe’s“The Raven” and other 19th century classics by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll and others—updates Mason’s narration with his own frighteningly stark, animated take on the story. Poe, had he lived to see the age of animation, may not have been pleased to see his story adapted in such graphic styles, but we, as his devoted readers over 150 years later, can be grateful that he left us such wonderfully weird source material for animated films.

 

http://www.openculture.com/2016/01/three-animated-adaptations-of-edgar-allan-poes-tell-tale-heart.html

It's fascinating how different art forms have an influence on and are adapted by other forms. You can't help but picture Poe's richly descriptive stories in your mind. This ability is as unparalleled as his insight into the tormented mind is uncanny.

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^^^Thank you for that timely reminder of Poe's genius, Patrycja. As a fan of UPA's work, I am especially thankful that you included their animated short of "The Tell-Tale Heart"...I had no idea it was on YouTube!!! 

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Intriguing.  It seems there are more questions than answers about Robert Johnson.  Maybe it's better that way.  Great music with a little mystery, the stuff legends are made of.

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7 hours ago, Strider said:

^^^Thank you for that timely reminder of Poe's genius, Patrycja. As a fan of UPA's work, I am especially thankful that you included their animated short of "The Tell-Tale Heart"...I had no idea it was on YouTube!!! 

You're welcome, Strider, I'm happy that you're so enthused about the animations, and that they're on Youtube. These are new to me to it was interesting to get a feel for others' interpretations of Poe's incredible imagination and skill in expressing it. You never know what you'll stumble upon on Youtube now. I love browsing around and stumbling into cool things, be it virtually or better yet in real life. You just get out there and you never know... 

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is one of my favourites, well that and "The Cask of Amontillado", well at least at the moment. I remember reading "A Descent into the Maelstrom" and being so affected by how the condition of his being in the heart of it really felt like an emotional state of turmoil. Every word fits in each story. Brilliant. Have you seen Coppola's Twixt? It's Poe related but don't want to spoil it for you or others who've not seen it. It's a 'different' sort of experiment of a film... I quite liked it, but many didn't.

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^^^I shall keep an eye out for "Twixt". I know many consider James Joyce the father of modern literature, but to me it's Edgar Allen Poe.

As is my wont, I have begun two books simultaneously. Which one I read on a given night depends on my mood. 

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Antony Beevor has written numerous books on World War II, including what I feel is the best book on Stalingrad. This has the promising beginnings of another gem. If you have any interest in the Battle of the Bulge and WWII, you will want to read this book.

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Did a recent event with Mary Karr and she proved to be very charming. Having already read her enjoyable trio of coming-of-age memoirs "The Liars' Club", "Cherry", and "Lit", I was already predisposed to want to read her latest.

Edited by Strider

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