In The Beginning (Day 4)

william burroughs

Today was the Big One.  I started writing It.

I began the day in an appropriate spot – at the British Library.  Passing Eduardo Paolozzi’s ‘Newton (after Blake)’ (with a momentary pause to whack it onto Big Art Mob, using the app available for free at your friendly local Apple app store), I settled down at a table outside The Last Word cafe. I had the first word more in mind – which turned out to be “He”. I was here to talk science with author and New Scientist writer Michael Brooks. He’s got some cracking factual books under his belt like Free Radicals and 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense. He gave generously of his time to help me pin down the front-runners for my Science case studies. He also threw new light on the Open Genome project and gave a fresh way into that story which I hope to pursue.

It was a lovely leisurely conversation so I didn’t get back to my writing desk til early afternoon at which point I transcribed the opening paragraph from the back of my Allen Ginsberg tome [see yesterday’s post], refined it a bit and then (and this wasn’t really planned) just ploughed on through Chapter 1, perhaps breaking the back of it.

So here’s how it starts…

He had an unfortunate combination of interests – drugs and guns. Oh, and writing. That’s how, off his face, he came to shoot his beloved wife in the face. And be in Tangier, one step ahead of the law, stoned at his typewriter.

william burroughs at his typewriter

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