Your Knowledge Of What Is Going On Can Only Be Superficial And Relative


“You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative” — Naked Lunch

3 thoughts on “Your Knowledge Of What Is Going On Can Only Be Superficial And Relative”

  1. great Burroughs finds, ed!!!!

    i had never even heard of his collaborations with Malcolm McNeill and, as you may recall, i’ve been a devoted WSB fan for a minute or two.

    the early Van Sant film is also an amusing nugget. it’s perhaps worth mentioning that WSB appears in Van Sant’s film “Drugstore Cowboy,” and the two collaborated on a music and spoken word album entitled “The Elvis of Letters.”

    his early collaboration with Jack Kerouac, “And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks” was recently published for the first time, and is of considerable interest to fans and (dare i say) scholars of Beat Lit.


  2. thanks, pat. too bad the “ah pook” book is like fifty fucking dollars on amazon (and more on ebay). i’m kinda surprised that it hasn’t been republished yet.
    i read an excerpt from “hippos” in harper’s magazine a few months ago, and it seemed cool…the book kinda got panned as inessential, and i’m not exactly a kerouac fan–did you read it? what did you think?
    oh, and, more to come, of course…it’s burroughs week at biblioklept!


  3. i read it and would recommend it to serious Beat fans familiar w/ Burroughs’ and Kerouac’s respective bodies of work — it’s definitely interesting to experience their styles in early developmental stages.

    personally, though, i continue to fantasize about what a Burroughs/Kerouac collaboration might have been like when both were at their peaks — when Kerouac had dispensed w/ any last attempts to write conventional fiction and flowed with beautiful, if drunken, memory-prose-poetry — when Burroughs attempted to free himself (and readers) from the restrictions of language via the vehicle of cut-ups.


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