Submit a request for access to the archival material.
All users will need to register the first time they make a request.
Columbia-affiliated users may login with their uni and password.
Unaffiliated users may create a new account.
Series V: Addition to the Papers, 2017
Cut-Up Typescript Materials for The Nova Trilogy:
In 1959, Brion Gysin cut newspaper articles into sections and rearranged the cuttings at random. The results of this radical literary collage technique was published as Minutes To Go by Two Cities Editions/Jean Fanchette, Paris (1960) containing works by Sinclair Beiles, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso and Brion Gysin
Typescript cut-up of about 60 pieces (ranging from one sentence to 45 lines)
Most are of some length and all deal with Burroughs' most notable themes and his
revolutionary method of writing
Typescript cut-up (blue ribbon copy) of 82 pieces, average measurement 4 x 3
inches, amounting to about 18 pages mss
Folders 2 & 3
Most pieces contains from 75 to 150 words
125-130 pieces [of] news fragments," mostly from New
York daily newspapers c. 1965. These are mostly cut up newspaper stories (many very small and fragile) and photos rather than whole clippings.
A few pages of his cut ups are extracts from his
"Intersection pictures and texts":
118 news clippings, some with comments typed in red by WSB,
including passages identified from Nova Express
Mostly from NY daily newspapers
1964-65. Photos of car crashes, gangland killings, narcotics addicts, cops, political
scandals, warfare, color cartoons, homoerotic pictures, space exploration;
paperback cover and printed review slip The Dutch Schultz Story, with a chapter
extracted which was his research material for his own book, The Last Words of
Dutch Schultz (1969). With some of his own writings excised from his publications.
Many of the individual pieces in these folders fit together, suggesting a late draft of
at least one of those early novels on which his reputation rests may have been
finalized from the larger of these fragments. Many primary themes and characters
in the Nova series (the Old Man of the Mountain, Doctor Benway, Towers-Open
Fire, junkies and narcs, the Lexington Kentucky Narcotics Farm, childhood
memories, orgasms, Martian and science-fiction landscapes. dead star fading, the
recurring date September 17, 1899 that appears in these works, etc.) are found in
these cut-up texts.
"This Is the Time of the Assassins":
"This Is the Time of the Assassins." Carbon typescript, 4 pages, with a half dozen ink
corrections, including three words inserted in ink and the pages numbered in the
One of Burroughs' most iconic texts, the title from Rimbaud, and
likely the first appearance in the author's work of Hassan-i-Sabbah, the Old Man of
the Mountain, segueing to "Tanger present tense." First published in Metronome,
Aug.1961, and later incorporated in the novel, Nova Express (1964). From all
appearances this is the author's retained copy of the original sent to Metronome.
Brion Gysin A Quick Trip to Alamut:
"A Quick Trip to Alamut: The Celebrated Castle of the Hash-Head
Assassins." . 27pp contemporary photocopy of the original typescript,
heavily corrected and revised in the photocopy by the author
This is basically the
third draft of the text, incorporating the first 22 pages of the second draft and the
final five pages of the first draft.
Although not having anything in the recipient's hand, this was the copy sent by Gysin
to his close friend and collaborator, William S. Burroughs, as it came from a sale of the
latter's personal archival materials.
Burroughs, who did not go on the trip, nonetheless has a significant part in Gysin's
narrative (there is reference to Timothy Leary as well, and the idea of LSD in the
water supply), an account of Gysin's trip to the famous castle at Alamut of Hassan+
Sabbah, leader of the late llthth century assassin cult made famous by Marco Polo,
the first European to visit him. Hassan-i-Sabbah was a major influence on both
writers going back to the early '60s.
This corrected typescript is the basis of the first published edition by Ink Blot in a
collection of Gysin's short works, "Who Runs May Read" (2000), more than 25 years
after it was written in 1973.
Who Runs May Read. Oakland: Inkblot, 2000
1st edition. 99 copies printed. Bookplate of The Psychedelic Library--Michael and Cynthia Horowitz.
Six loose, now empty, folders which at one time contained the material described above. The folder for "Intersection pictures and texts" is so labeled by Burroughs