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Biographical Note | A Finding Aid to the William Burroughs and Brion Gysin writings, 1963-1973, 1997 | Digitized Collection

William Burroughs and Brion Gysin writings, 1963-1973, 1997

Biographical Note

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) was a writer in New York, Mexico, Morocco, and Kansas. Burroughs's friend, painter and poet Brion Gysin, developed the "cut-up technique" of writing, a form of collage using blocks of randomly arranged text, which was popularized by Burroughs. Gysin taught the cut-up technique to Burroughs at the Beat Hotel in Paris, France around 1959, and Burroughs implemented the technique to create his third novel, Naked Lunch. The two continued to collaborate on projects and remained close friends.