Ilse Klapper.

This is the place to talk about everything Burroughs.

Moderator: RealityStudio

Only Me
Posts: 1199
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:54 pm

Ilse Klapper.

Postby Only Me » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:41 pm

You know, it's a damned shame nobody ever interviewed Ilse Klapper, the German Jew Burroughs married in 1937 in Greece to help her escape Nazi persecution. I think she would have had some interesting stories to tell. And I always thought it was sort of ironic he saved one female life and took another; a kind of yin-yang thing. Helps balance his misogynist reputation a bit.

WilliamLee
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:24 am
Name a Burroughs book: Junky

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby WilliamLee » Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:08 am

It seems that Ilse Klapper never did talk much about Burroughs. There is a short story (although in german) about her: http://www.oxfort.de/family2.htm called "The three lives of Ilse Herzfeld".

"Burroughs", she says - she always calls him this way - "is a decent person. I didn't like his lifestyle nor his friends, but I did appreciate his honesty very much."

(„Burroughs”, sagt sie dann - sie nennt ihn nie anders - „ist ein grundanständiger Mensch. Sein Lebensstil und seine Freunde haben mir nicht gefallen. Ich habe seine Ehrlichkeit sehr geschätzt”.)

I don't know if Burroughs first travel to Europe 1936/37 has been well reseached in more recent biographies as there are some interesting aspects to it. (i.e. studying medicine in Vienna, taking psychoanalysis in Vienna (?), traveling to Dubrovnik...) I have the impression that there aren't many details known.

I remember that in some interview he mentioned riding the big ferris wheel in Vienna...

But I think it is interesting to note that Burroughs visited Europe in the times when fascism emerged there. (Maybe he drew from that experience when he later wrote about power and control? )

Image
Burroughs in Dubrovnik, 1937

User avatar
Benway4SurgeonGenral
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby Benway4SurgeonGenral » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:35 am

Never seen a photo of Burroughs that young... thanks. Fascinating topic...

Only Me
Posts: 1199
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:54 pm

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby Only Me » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:29 am

That photo's in (I think) Literary Outlaw by Ted Morgan, Benway. Great bio. Thanks for posting that info, William Lee. Very interesting. Pity he hadn't kept the female score at just saving Ilse's life. Would have changed perceptions of him perceptibly. Then again, he wouldn't have had that 'Ugly Spirit made me write' clause running through his life and the material he wrote may have been vastly different, so who knows? Marrying somebody to help them out is just such an odd thing for a man who would later profess such misogyny to do though. It really shades his character a lot from blacknwhite misogynist to gray enigmatic character.
Last edited by Only Me on Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Vyse Hazuky
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:51 pm
Name a Burroughs book: Junky

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby Vyse Hazuky » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:31 am

WilliamLee wrote:But I think it is interesting to note that Burroughs visited Europe in the times when fascism emerged there. (Maybe he drew from that experience when he later wrote about power and control? )


That would seem most likely. Just like Hemingway and Orwell before him (Spanish Civil War), to experience something so poignant has to be the best artistic fuel one can get. Was it not also Virginia Woolf who said: "The war, people said, had revived their interest in poetry" (WWI) ?

Only Me
Posts: 1199
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:54 pm

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby Only Me » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:36 am

Wasn't it in Literary Outlaw that he saw pictures of Jews with spiders' heads or bodies or something in Europe around that time and he used that imagery in his later work? I may be recalling inaccurately.

edward_de_vere
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:16 pm

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby edward_de_vere » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:42 am

The 1937 photo of Burroughs in Dubrovnik is captioned as something along the lines of "Burroughs Harvard class photo" in Literary Outlaw. I wonder which is correct?

As to Burroughs' misogyny, that was something that he seemed to have in an off-hand way throughout his life, but it only became extreme and pathological (to the point where WSB refused to socialize with women in the late 60's and early 70's) under Brion Gysin's influence.

WilliamLee
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:24 am
Name a Burroughs book: Junky

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby WilliamLee » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:32 pm

edward_de_vere wrote:The 1937 photo of Burroughs in Dubrovnik is captioned as something along the lines of "Burroughs Harvard class photo" in Literary Outlaw. I wonder which is correct?


This seems to be the more reliable attribution. I have found the picture online so I put more confidence in Literary Outlaw (also regarding the style the picture was taken.)

I'll have to check the books available to me about more facts about the first visit to Europe, but I am not very up to date with biographies about Burroughs. (I have the one by Miles but have to look if I also have another one.)

I guess it's time to get an update for more recent editions. Any suggestions which bios are recommended?


edward_de_vere wrote:As to Burroughs' misogyny, that was something that he seemed to have in an off-hand way throughout his life, but it only became extreme and pathological (to the point where WSB refused to socialize with women in the late 60's and early 70's) under Brion Gysin's influence.


Oh yeah, we can blame Brion for that... :lol: Sometimes I have the impression that Burroughs mysogynist statements have to be understood tongue in cheek..

edward_de_vere
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:16 pm

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby edward_de_vere » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:55 pm

I'll have to check the books available to me about more facts about the first visit to Europe, but I am not very up to date with biographies about Burroughs. (I have the one by Miles but have to look if I also have another one.)

I guess it's time to get an update for more recent editions. Any suggestions which bios are recommended


I recommend Ted Morgan's Literary Outlaw - very detailed, well-documented, and as far it's possible for anybody to be, objective. Miles' book seemed more like the gushings of a fanboy than serious biography.

Paul Sempschi
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:41 pm

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby Paul Sempschi » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:34 pm

I often wonder what James' would-be bio could have unearthed from this period. It's curious why he never really went into much detail about this period, any skeletons or just a general awkwardness? It would have made fodder for a damn good follow up for Port of Saints.

Egil
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby Egil » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:34 am

I suspect that the real Burroughs bio will be written in about 10 - 20 years when all the people who could get hurt by it are dead. There are some gaping holes in the story that would definitely inform some of the things in the books if we knew them. Particularly about Burroughs at home and his family and so on.

WilliamLee
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:24 am
Name a Burroughs book: Junky

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby WilliamLee » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:56 am

edward_de_vere wrote:I recommend Ted Morgan's Literary Outlaw - very detailed, well-documented, and as far it's possible for anybody to be, objective. Miles' book seemed more like the gushings of a fanboy than serious biography.


Thanks for the recommendation Ed. Checking my books I found out that I was missing Literary Outlaw so that one will be added to my library soon...


Egil wrote:I suspect that the real Burroughs bio will be written in about 10 - 20 years when all the people who could get hurt by it are dead.


Damn... I have to try to get very old to be able to read that bio then...

WilliamLee
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:24 am
Name a Burroughs book: Junky

Re: Ilse Klapper.

Postby WilliamLee » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:20 am

edward_de_vere wrote:I recommend Ted Morgan's Literary Outlaw - very detailed, well-documented, and as far it's possible for anybody to be, objective. Miles' book seemed more like the gushings of a fanboy than serious biography.


I just finished reading Literary Outlaw ant it has been a great read ideed.
I guess I was the last one on this board to whom this book was new... Thanks again for the recommendation.


Return to “Burroughs Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest

cron