burroughs miscellany (thanks to poetpiet for this)

Hermesacat, YouTube

Audio recording of a lecture & writing class with Q & A with students at Naropa University. Allen Ginsberg is also in the audience. Burroughs covers topics including paranormal phenomena, magic, synchronicity, precognition, dreams, his cut-ups technique for writing, & he answers many questions from students & from Ginsberg in a Q & A. He reads from some of his fiction & non-fiction writings. The woman who asks many questions near the end & thanks him at the end I believe is Anne Waldman of Naropa U. This recording comes from Naropa’s audio archives available free to stream at archive.org. There the recording is listed as: “William S Burroughs class on the technology and ethic of wishing – Part 1 (June 25, 1986)”, plus Part 2. I’ve joined both parts together in this YT upload & edited out nothing. The short silent gap somewhere in the middle is found in the original too. Thanks go to paranormal author & net radio host Greg Bishop. It was his citing at his Radio Misterioso site of this & other Burroughs recordings that led me to it & other recordings from Naropa U’s archives. I’ve since uploaded another Naropa Burroughs lecture entitled “William S Burroughs lecture of Jul 20 1976,on paranormal, EVP, text+tape cut-ups, prognostication”:

And an entertaining short (9 min.) Burroughs reading for animal lovers entitled “The Cat Inside – William S Burroughs, alternate early draft excerpts, 1985 reading”:


  1. walter benjamin
    Posted November 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanx for the flicks. I viewed the one on cats being a cat lover myself. I will leave the others to when I have time.
    Having read his trilogy I was always curious if someone ever did a dissertation or study on it. Once you get some of the more ‘tacky’ stuff out of the way there seems to be a very interesting structure to what he is writing and his concepts of time etc.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted November 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Yes, both the long ones are quite enjoyable. The second one has a really excellent selection of long cutups, which he recites, bringing out their inherent rhythm very clearly. I hope you realise I didn’t assemble these: the ‘I’ in the descriptions is not me, but someone called ‘Hermesacat’.

    I’ve started reading Wolfson’s enormous book on Spinoza. It’s much better than I expected. I had been misled by all the current writers on Spinoza, into dismissing it as too medieval to understand Descartes, but the way Wolfson approaches it, Descartes is not very important. But I am only a hundred or so pages into the thousand or so pages and I expect I shall run into problems eventually.

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