Possible photographic evidence of Thomas Pynchon’s hand (and a pig piñata)


From an article in LAist:

A photograph on the back cover of a memoir by Phyllis Gebauer, a close friend of Pynchon’s, shows the author’s hand extending out of the door of his apartment giving a peace sign with a pig piñata named Claude and Gebauer in the foreground. In 2011, Gebauer donated her rare collection of signed Pynchon novels to UCLA.

I seem to recall mention of this pig piñata in A Journey into the Mind of P (but I could be wrong).

Big thanks to Doug Eklund for pointing the photo out to me.

100 Point William Burroughs Riff

1. William Seward Burroughs, born February 5th, 1914, St. Louis, Missouri. Died August 2, 1997, Lawrence, Kansas.

2. Danger.


3. William S. Burroughs, a writer no one reads and everyone references.

4. Point three is not fair: I’m sure you, dearest reader, have read Burroughs, continue to read Burroughs, will read Burroughs, etc.

5. But, points three and four, it’s the idea of Burroughs, Burroughs-as-luminary, Burroughs-as-symbol, that our culture persists in keeping.

6. Re: Points three, four, five: Burroughs the poser who posed for so many photographs, who couldn’t say no to a spoken word CD or a collaboration or a fucking Nike ad.

7. And always with the guns.


8. And the knives.

william burroughs wielding a knife

9. And the guns.


10. If you want to know what licenses Picasso to break the human form (and other forms) into cubes and lines and colors and figured abstractions, go gander at Aunt Pepa or First Communion.

11. If you want to know what licenses Duchamp to call a urinal a work of art, go gander at Portrait of the Artist’s Father.

12. If you want to know what licenses Burroughs to call Naked Lunch a novel, go read Junkie or Queer.

13. Junkie, the first Burroughs novel I read, is a high modernist classic.

14. Typewriter.


15. Shoes.


16. The reader is invited, most cordially, to print this riff and cut it into little bits and rearrange it.

17. The reader is invited, most cordially, to cut and paste this riff into a new digital document and rearrange it.

18. William Burroughs, curator.

19. William Burroughs, collaborator. Continue reading “100 Point William Burroughs Riff”

Topless William Burroughs

topless burroughs

Cormac McCarthy Shooting Pool in Texas, Like Fifteen Years Ago


Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita, Languages, Lepidoptera (1964 LIFE Magazine Profile)

(From a 1964 LIFE profile; my favorite line: “It is odd, and probably my fault, that no people seem to name their daughters Lolita anymore. I have heard of young female poodles being given that name since 1956, but of no human beings.”)

JFK, Gore Vidal, and Tennessee Williams


Finnegans Wake (With Bunny)











Charles Dickens’s Traveling Cutlery Kit

(Via the Library of Congress).

Walt Whitman’s Cardboard Butterfly


Modernist Bros


Public Library: American Commons — Robert Dawson’s Images of American Libraries

Check out Robert Dawson’s images of American libraries at Places. Evocative and even poignant in an age when libraries are under threat in this country, Dawson’s images remind us that libraries are, on one hand a monument to our culture and civilization, and, on the other hand, often the outposts of that civilization.