(SOLD): GUST, Gils. Untitled.
[Belgium]: Gust Gils, 1969 – 1971. First edition. 1077 loose sheets. A collection of the author’s writings and drawings created whilst under the influence of psychedelic drugs. Gils, was a well known Belgian poet, who founded the experimental avant-garde magazine Gard Sivik, named after the jazz café in Antwerp of the same name. He was also the editor of the literary magazine Podium. Gils wrote and had published over thirty works of poetry and prose. His poetic oeuvre is characterized by a strong musical influence. The poet claimed that his poetry had an “auditory” character. Gils heard his poems and felt that they should also be read aloud. What is important here is not so much the melodiousness of the verse as the rhythm. Later, Gils would further explore the twilight zone between poetry and music in so-called “verbosonic” experiments. His prose work consists mainly of bundles of short “stories”, characterized by a mixture of surrealistic starting points and turns, quasi-metaphysical reflections, and above all an absurd humour. Starting from an unusual premise, the author develops an apparently logical argument, which quickly gets lost in the most improbable, grotesque situations. He thus situates himself in the tradition of Franz Kafka and Belgian Surrealism (as represented by the painter René Magritte), albeit with a decidedly comic slant. Beginning in 1969, Gils began to experiment with psychedelic drugs, particularly LSD, to investigate the effect of drug use on his consciousness, writing and drawing. Gils recorded these experiments on over 1000 sheets of paper, of varying sizes, accurately describing the origin and course of the intoxication while allowing his creativity to wander free. The writings, primarily in Dutch, occasionally in English, alternate rapidly between euphoria, madness, sensation, beauty, love, insight, doubt, vulnerability, fear and the impulse of the unseen. The numerous drawings are primarily executed in coloured felt-tip pen. Gils intended to publish his experimentations and this archive includes a preparatory introduction which reads (in Dutch): “Dedicated to whoever wants to read this. Including the gentlemen equally sharp of mind as narrow-minded, who will determine whether or not the content of this book, with its necessary open admission of illegal practices, exposes the writer to persecution”. The book was never published, and offered here is his archive which was to form its basis. Comprises: File 1 (1969): 71 individual sheets of different sizes (largely A5). Various notes about the drug experiments, ranging from theoretical reflections to a number of described hallucinations, and a design for an introduction / justification. File 2 (9.11.1969): 59 loose sheets (33.5: 21 cm.). Description of trip in felt pen. File 3 (12.11.1969): 59 loose sheets (A4 and 33.5: 21 cm.). Description of trip with psychedelic drawings, in felt pen. File 4 (13.11.1969): 30 loose sheets (largely A5). Description of trip with psychedelic drawings, in felt pen. File 5 (16.11.69): 125 separate sheets of different sizes (mostly A4). Description of LSD trip in various colours of felt-tip pen, with psychedelic drawings. File 6 (5.12.69): 122 individual sheets of different sizes (mostly A4). Description of LSD trip in various colours of felt-tip pen, with psychedelic drawings. File 7 (19.12.69): 122 loose sheets (33.5: 21 cm.). Description of LSD trip in various colours of felt-tip pen. File 8 (3.1.70 – 31.1.70): 399 loose sheets of different sizes (mostly A4). Texts and psychedelic drawings from several trips (sorted per day) and a detailed report of a sulphate trip. Felt pen in various colours. File 9 (22.5.70 / 30.5.70): 90 separate sheets (A4). Two reports of LSD trips, in various colours of felt-tip pen. An absolutely fascinating insight into use, and creative effects of psychedelic drugs worthy of further study.