Feb 5, 2014

Naked Centennial

Today is the 100th birthday of William S. Burroughs

I'm reminded of this fact, by the always fascinating site Band of Thebes, who give an overview of his queer-ness (is that a word?)

I've only read one of his books, I'm ashamed to say, the late The Western Lands, and didn't much take to it, and try as I might, I've never been able to get through Naked Lunch
 Maybe one day.
(but I doubt it)
Seems back in the late 40's he and his wife Joan (you know, the one he shot in the forehead playing "William Tell") moved to Algiers.  
Just a bit of time on the Westbank can do that to a person. Neal Cassady and Kerouac visited him here, so it seems. 
Anywho... on a lark, a few weeks ago I made something of a pilgrimage.  I drove down through the hood and out again....to find his former home. I'd long meant to, but never had gotten around to it, even as near as it is.

It's in a quiet, very off-the-beaten-path neighborhood in the suburbs, only a short distance from where I grew up, in fact. 


normadesmond said...

and today is the 97th birthday of zsa zsa.

a shame she couldn't have been
leno's final guest tomorrow.
now that would've been a show.

Anonymous Jason Fan said...

Years ago I made that same pilgrimage with a friend from California. We set off on foot and immediately got lost in Algiers (which hadn't gotten fancy yet).

At one point, a kind but clearly alarmed mailman told us to turn around and gave us directions to the house.

We were standing out front taking photos when a perplexed homeowner came out -- an elderly lady. She had no idea of the "historical significance" of her house and had lived there for decades. No, she said, no one ever came by and took pictures. She'd never heard of such a thing.

"A famous writer lived here?" she said skeptically. "Like Steven Spielberg?"

jason said...

It's still almost like that....despite the plaque and such.
Lemme tell you, I was given quite the evil eye by the neighbor across the street.