CHAPMAN, Harold. The Beat Hotel.

(Montpellier, France): Gris Banal, Editeur, 1984. First edition. 188 pages. Forewords by William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Photo-captions by Claire Parry. Text in French and English. Chapman's superb photographic documentation of 'The Beat Hotel', a small, run-down hotel of 42 rooms at 9 Rue Gît-le-Cœur in the Latin Quarter of Paris, notable chiefly as a residence for the extended 'family' of beat writers and artists who stayed there from the late 1950s to the early 1960s in a ferment of creativity. Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky first stayed there in 1957 and were soon joined by William S. Burroughs, Derek Raymond, Harold Norse and Gregory Corso, as well as Sinclair Beiles. It was here that Burroughs completed the text of Naked Lunch and began his lifelong collaboration with Brion Gysin. It was also where Ian Sommerville became Burroughs' 'systems advisor' and lover. Gysin introduced Burroughs to the Cut-up technique and with Sommerville and they experimented with a 'dream machine' and audio tape cut-ups. Norse wrote a novel, Beat Hotel, using cut-up techniques, Ginsberg wrote a part of his moving and mature poem Kaddish and Corso wrote the mushroom cloud-shaped poem Bomb. The volume is illustrated throughout with photographs of the hotel and its residents. A very good plus copy in glossy wrappers, previous owners name to title-page. Surprisingly scarce.


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