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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.