The Seer of Cleveland asks, "It seems to me that an interest in or association with William Burroughs ties together much of America's avante garde writing. Do you know if RAW and Burroughs were friends, or if they ever corresponded? Do you know of Burroughs read RAW's work?"
Bob knew Bill Burroughs. They hung out at the Democratic Convention in
Chicago in 1968 along with Allen Ginsberg. They sat in a bar discussing The
Cantos. Bob Wilson and Bob Shea included both of them in Illuminatus! Bob
told me Burroughs thought it appropriate that the great epic poem of the 20th
century ended in fragments.
(ASU bought Burroughs' papers in 1983. I used to hang out in the Special
Collections room of the ASU library going through them. I remember reading a
cut-up Burroughs did of Canto I. I met Burroughs in the Special Collections
room on October 23, 1985, when ASU bought the papers. I found him the most
intimidating person I ever met.) (I found Roscoe Mitchell almost as
intimidating, and I found Richard Bandler intimidating in a different fashion.
I trouble getting Burroughs or Mitchell to talk, but I felt like Bandler could
see right through me.)
I talked with Burroughs about Robert Anton Wilson and Philip Jose Farmer,
and he nodded his head and said he had read them, but not much else. I certainly did not find