6 years ago
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
As a brow-furrowed aspiring writer, while a teenager I inevitably found my way to William Burroughs. My relationship with his prose has remained problematic and challenging. I regret having lived so many years within driving distance of Lawrence, Kan., and never making the pilgrimage to his place.
So this caught my eye recently. Many moons ago, the BBC made a good documentary about Burroughs, called "Arena" (watch the whole thing here). Now over at the BBC's Space site, there's a reel of unused footage showing Burroughs in England stopping by for tea with Francis Bacon (the ’60s painter, not the 16th-century statesman). Bacon serves up tea from his drab little kitchen, making it extra strong per Burroughs' taste and adding a bit of milk before the two begin talking about Tangier.
Watch the reel here. Warning: Just be patient. It's a dumb, overly designed web site. You may click through and get the video right away, or you may have to press the elevator button No. 4 and wait for a silly image map to load (the graphics, and their loading speeds, are akin to playing "Myst" on a 1990s Macintosh Performa), then click on the Francis Bacon tea cup. You can watch, but you can't stop, start, pause, share or embed the resulting video. Sigh.