Nothing Here Now But the Lost Recordings: The Lost Tapes of Carl Weissner, Claude Pélieu and Mary Beach, 1967-1969

“For academics and fans alike, the archives of the pivotal beat triumvir of William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac have long been a source of fascination and a continued wealth of lost texts. Despite the excavation of a large number of letters and minor works, alongside significant manuscripts such as the Burroughs / Kerouac collaboration And the Hippos Were Boiled in their Tanks (written in 1945, but not published until 2010) there is nevertheless a sense that the well may be beginning to run dry. It is perhaps for this reason that interest in the extended ‘Beat family tree’ which has branches that extend far and wide is finally beginning to grow. While largely (and unjustly) neglected thus far, the so-called ‘European Beats’ made a substantial contribution to the dissemination of the cut-up method. Many of these writers were introduced to the technique by Burroughs himself through his many contributions to underground zines in the 1960s, when his project had been specifically to “recruit” practitioners far and wide in order to ‘spread the virus’ and spearhead an assault against linguistic programming and rational thought. Amongst these, Carl Weissner, Claude Pélieu and Mary Beach stand out for their contributions to the cut-up canon. Many of their works were produced with Burroughs’ direct involvement in some capacity: for example the ‘Counterscripts’ which preface Pélieu’s 1967 novel With Revolvers Aimed… Finger Bowls, and Weissner’s The Braille Film (1970) and the ‘Tickertape’ introduction to the three-way collaboration between Weissner, Jürgen Ploog and Jan Herman, Cut Up Or Shut Up (1969), and not forgetting the Weissner / Pélieu / Burroughs pamphlet So Who Owns Death TV? (1967). These publications are relatively sought after and are commanding increasingly high prices on the collectors market. However, to date, the archives of these authors remain largely unexplored. …”
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