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Ulted in the death of his wife from Burroughs s gun It was not the first time he had been related to a violent act His friend Lucien Carr murdered David Kamerer in 1944 and Carr had enlisted the aid of Burroughs and Jack Kerouac to hide the evidence As a result he and Kerouac were arrested for the cover up Burroughs s father bailed him out but Kerouac s family refused to help so he had to marry into money a few days later I wish this had been explained fully but I suppose it had little to do with the main story Supposedly Kerouac s And the Hippos Boiled in their Tanks was based on the incident It was about this time that Burroughs met Joan Vollmer his later wife and future victim of his gun It was a bizarre relationship both indulging in their own predilections and often self destructive actions She told everyone for example how making love to him he of homosexual tendencies sometimes gave her foot cramps Burroughs was soon also married to illicit substances and shaking down bums on the street to supplement the 200 a month his family sent unwillingly so why do it supporting his heroin habit Sentenced by a judge to his family in St Louis he hated anything remotely familial he soon fell in with Kells Elvins and together they bought some land in Texas departing with numerous grandiose schemes Joan in the meantime had become destitute was overdosing on Bennies and was finally sentenced to Bellevue When Burroughs was notified he schemed to get her out and took her off to Texas for five years of intense relationship where he planned to raise marijuana and sell it wholesale He didn t even think of writing but found time to impregnate Joan no foot cramps this time They spent their time smoking weed and listening to music Soon the crop was in and they drove 3000 according to the author my google maps says like 2200 miles with the crop stuffed in their vehicle to New York but they had failed to dry the crop properly so it was unsaleable Burroughs went back to sticking a needle in his arm Are you beginning to get a picture here In the meantime Kerouac and Nel Cassady the American Dionysus weave their way in and out of Burroughs and Joan s lives although little is said about their relationship especially with regard to writing Burroughs finally decided to give writing a try while under the influence His decision was motivated by a need to make some money his writing a form of mumbling Garcia Robles occasionally makes some snide comments the apartment on 115th Street lacked just one thing for his highness Burroughs to move in There was little preceding that comment to justify it regardless of its correctness On the other hand none of the characters was particularly likeable so perhaps they are justified One wonders about the little asides such as the digression into the life of Lola the Mexican drug lord I also was skeptical about the perspective ie how much came from Burroughs in the interviews and how much the author gleaned about his subject from less subjective sources Comments like Joan wanted to die and Bill served as her escort to the final precipice Further still he would be the executor of her fate What better companion toward the darkness than William S Burroughs over whom death loomed every minute of his life like a swarm of mosuitoes around his head like a black aura enveloping his body Death was always breathing down his neck though he never succumbed in desperation Bill was a leathery reptile with an incredible ability to plunge to the depths and surface unscathed Not Joan Joan was tender Her intelligence and clarity were not made of the same bullet proof stuff as Burroughs s Joan was like Kerouac life seemed too large for them Neither could face the world neither could deal suarely with it so it destroyed them in different ways but in the same measure while intriguing left me wondering Ultimately this book is of a curiosity that pulls us along wondering what calamity will befall Burroughs next All of his own making The central goal of the book the shooting of Joan I will not comment on in fear of raising the ire of the spoiler Nazis Full disclosure I haven t read anything of Burroughs and this book was indly made available to me by the University of Minnesota Press through NetGalle. Culous research and interviews with those who new Burroughs and his circle in Mexico City García Robles brilliantly portrays a time in Burroughs’s life that has been overshadowed by the tragedy of Joan Vollmer’s death He re creates the bohemian Roma neighborhood where Burroughs resided with Joan and their children the streets of postwar Mexico City that Burroughs explored and such infamous figures as Lola la Chata ueen of the city’s drug trade This compelling book also offers a contribution by Burroughs himself an evocative sketch of his shady Mexican attorney Bernabé Jura.

I ve been considering reading Call Me Burroughs A Life but at 715 pages I thought I d test drive this firstThis essay length book covers 3 pivotal years in Burroughs life the period Burroughs claims made him a writer The narrat This book was a disturbing but fascinating look into William S Burroughs life in Mexico during the 40s and 50s I wish the author of the book hadn t been such a Burroughs fanboy as at times it seemed he was making excuses for what Burroughs did he shot his wife tortured animals stole money for drugs and had a strange xenophobic view of the Mexican people yet wanted to live in Mexico I don t recommend this book if you re not familiar with Burroughs works or life outside of Mexico as you ll be confused at some of the references I found the book glossed over important events or left other things out entirely like details about Burroughs relationships with other writers so I m only giving this three stars I do recommend this book if you ever wondered why Burroughs went to Mexico or what he did there Rating 35 starsThis is grim and gritty stuff most suitable for those who are familiar with the ey figures who represented the Beat Generation Sex drugs corruption and self destruction defined life for William Burroughs in Mexico City And yeah writing There was some of that Very bizarre and highly readable I finished it in 24 hours Burroughs presence in Mexico in the 50 s is interesting and I am glad this book is brief about it His wife s death was not very clear to me ueer and Junky are the books he wrote in Mexico from which I have read some parts they are very boring to me since they are uite sad and lack that surrealist dark humor Naked Lunch hasThe descriptions of the city in the book are funny and sadly some things are still the same Entrepreneurs not infre uently lepers build fires on street corners and cook up hideous stinking nameless messes of food that they dispense to passersby what an astounding overpowering brutish olfactory and visual display of our troglodytish gluttony The Stray Bullet is Jorge Garcia Robles contribution to New Journalism centered around his fascination with Burroughs The narrative amateurishly over exuberant at times especially when describing the positive elements of Mexican culture descends into a sterile description of the infamous death of Burroughs wife Joan Vollmar before chasing Burroughs in and out of Mexico Garcia Robles seems to take malicious pleasure in listing the leading lights of Mexican Art then pointing out Burroughs disinterest in the cultural scene he makes these lists several times so you could say his unabashed admiration of the Beat poet is barbed with perhaps some resentment about this as wellThe Stray Bullet stresses the importance of Mexico in its impact on that old junkie and as an extension its impact on the world without Mexico the man who conjured Naked Lunch wouldn t be Garcia Robles is bragging that despite Burroughs drug addled passivity when it came to cultural immersion Mexico caused that ugly spirit to spring into his cold reptile consciousness the moment that fatal trigger was pulled Afterwards Burroughs would write compulsively if only to fight away that ugly spirit I went though a phase a few years ago where I just blew through the Beat canon primarily that of Kerouac and Burroughs While I liked Kerouac s stream of consciousness bubble and pop prose Burroughs macabre yet visionary descriptions captivated me I enjoyed cross referencing the factual entries of the Beat canon making my own connections down the path many had trod before me The Stray Bullet despite its naively simplistic nature is a comprehensive and referenced outline of Burroughs stay in Mexico and is a valuable addition to the library of a Beat junkie Waffling between 25 and 3 but a magnificent coverI have never read any Burroughs and based on this weird biographical sketch I suspect I never will Seemingly fueled by any drug he could get often in a stupor with little sense of responsibility I would have crossed the street to avoid walking past him Garcia Robles met Burroughs in 1990 and out of this meeting came the idea to write about Burroughs s stay in Mexico a period of time Burroughs was reluctant to discuss His time there res. Lliam Tell with a loaded pistol He would be tried and convicted of murder in absentia after fleeing MexicoFirst published in 1995 in Mexico where it received the Malcolm Lowry literary essay award The Stray Bullet is an imaginative and riveting account of Burroughs’s formative experiences in Mexico his fascination with Mexico City’s demimonde his acuaintances and friendships there and his contradictory attitudes toward the country and its culture Mexico Jorge García Robles makes clear was the place in which Burroughs embarked on his “fatal vocation as a writer”Through meti.

Reads like a series of anecdotes fascinating and horrifying I didn t April 16th: Virginia Tech Remembers know much about Burroughs going into this book and what I donow now doesn t exactly paint him in a great light but he is clearly an interesting guy The book discusses his life in and thoughts about the Roma District in Mexico City so it is valuable for sense of place The author apparently the Beat Culture expert in Mexico includes all the significant characters at the time including Lola La Chata who was a female drug trafficker and seemed to have a monopoly on heroin and morphine in Mexico City and Bernab Jurado Burroughs seedy lawye I found this momentous slice of Burroughs life in Mexico uite a fascinating read as I have been a Beat fan for a long time I also find however that my now aged perspective has caused me to lose patience with some of the irresponsible aspects of the Beats and especially their justification of such which simply sounds like alcoholicaddict nonsense In this case Burroughs shot his wife Joan playing William Tell She died Burroughs and Gysin and Garcia Robles can talk all they want about the Ugly Spirit that possessed Burroughs or Joan s desire to die and William was simply the instrument but it all sounds like so many excuses And though this event purportedly turned Burroughs into the writerartist he became the uestion remains does art provide justification for cruel andor destructive self or otherwise acts Or is it just an excuse This was an hors d oeuvre of a book at only 156 pages and double spaced so I zipped through it in one day and an evening but has some good information Being Spanish speaking Jorge Garcia Robles was able to interview the primary Mexican sources and since he also speaks English the American sources as well He also provides an overview of what was happening in Mexican culture at the time His insights into the relationship between Burroughs and his wife Joan Vollmer are also to the point and interesting He further gives background on Burroughs Mexican lawyer and the reigning drug ueen Lola La Chata The Mexican trip was a turning point in Burroughs career as a writer and an investigation into the details is well worth researching and reading to have a better grasp of him both as a person and an artist Well worth reading and compact and concise BH It s odd but I never read a bad book on William S Burroughs As a writer I think he s great as a human being I don t now He s a fascinating personality that s for sure but it seems to me that he s a natural nightmare for the National Rifle Association I can sort of understand someone who is involved with gun culture but I can t put my head around someone who loves guns even after shooting his wife by mistake That would make me give up firearms but alas Burroughs ept his interest in firearms for the rest of his life That part of him I don t like The Stray Bullet is a fascinating book written by a Mexican journalist Jorge Garcia Robles that covers Burroughs stay in Mexico In detail it goes into the shooting of Burroughs wife Joan and what happened before and after that tragedy Her death has always been ept at as a distance with respect to Burroughs writings and commentary Although he said that was the moment that he became a writer but it struck me that he never came to accept her death by his own foolish behavior In that sense not a very nice man Seeing the two photographs of Joan s body in this book is shocking Because this is the first time I have been confronted with her death in a graphic manner and it does leaves one with a bad taste for the Burroughs image It is also interesting that he had no interest whatsoever in Mexico as a culture either in its history or popular arts Him and Joan basically just fed their addictions and that s basically it In many ways Burroughs world is a very solitude and protected landscape He risked danger but always by choice On the surface he s a total noir type of personality but his weakness is all over the place The Stray Bullet is a sad book but its interesting that it is written in the point of view of a Mexican who appreciates the art of Burroughs but also uite frank about a man with a lot of faults I haven t read any of William S Burroughs works but his life has been a curiosity. William S Burroughs arrived in Mexico City in 1949 having slipped out of New Orleans while awaiting trial on drug and weapons charges that would almost certainly have resulted in a lengthy prison sentence Still uncertain about being a writer he had left behind a series of failed business ventures including a scheme to grow marijuana in Texas and sell it in New York and an already long history of drug use and arrests He would remain in Mexico for three years a period that culminated in the defining incident of his life Burroughs shot his common law wife Joan Vollmer while playing Wi.

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Ensayista editor traductor y cronista de la vidaJorge García Robles uien según Roger Bartra encara de un modo lúdico los grandes problemas de México fue Premio de ensayo literario Malcolm Lowry 1995 Es autor del libro vivencial ué transa con las bandas 1985 2014 de la mixtura de escritos ensortijados Lofránida 1987 de los cuentos aluímicos reunidos en Los muslos de Potasia

Jorge García-Robles on The Stray Bullet