Ann Beat, “Junkie Culture ,” excerpted from Books and Bookmen, November 1963.

Norman Mailer describes Burroughs as ‘the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed of genius.’ An odd offshoot of the adding machine family, he lives in a squalid Paris room where he appeared to the Observer as ‘grumpy’ but to the Sunday Times as ‘gentle and courteous’. His books, THE NAKED LUNCH, THE SOFT MACHINE, NOVIA EXPRESS, and THE TICKET THAT EXPLODED, are published by Olympia Press, Paris, but liable to be seized if imported to Britain (although B&B receives review copies without trouble). Extracts from these books will be published in late March or April under the title DEAD FINGERS TALK (Calder, 25s). Man, this guy Bill Burroughs is really square. You know something? He’s produced a book specially for the British. Can you imagine anything more philistine? His downfall started last Fall when some smartipants young British publisher named John Calder got Bill along to some Literary Festival at a joint called Edinburgh. He didn’t know what a Lit Fest was but he’d heard that Henry Miller and Norm Mailer were going so he figured that Edinburgh was probably on London’s Left Bank and that they’d all sit around at some boulevard café near Battersea Power Station and natter over some vino and heroin. But what he didn’t know — and the crafty Calder obviously did — was that Henry isn’t interested in writing any more ’cause he’s gone commercial and made a packet out of publishing Tropic of Cancer in the States. And as for Norm, he’d just had a union-jacked baby by his new wife, Lord Beaverbrook’s granddaughter, which seems to be pretty well going to extremes with the respectability kick. Well, when Bill got to this Edinburgh joint he found it was a real bourgeois set-up with a platform, microphones. ‘Mr Chairman’ and all that sort of crap. Instead of the fraternity like Kerouac, Ginsberg and the rest, he found himself stuck up in a public peep-show alongside crazy antique dames like Rosamund Lehmann and Rebecca West. …”
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