Unforgettable Characters by Michael Span

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Frank
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Unforgettable Characters by Michael Span

Postby Frank » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:42 am

I was able to get this Xochi books publication from a book seller in California. The bibliography says that "Wild Shot: William Burroughs in Mexico-1949-1952" has an English translation by Grauerholz and Jose Ferez which was sent to Xochi books. Has anyone seen it and is Xochi Publications even still around?

Thanks.

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Re: Unforgettable Characters by Michael Span

Postby RealityStudio » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:05 am

Frank wrote:I was able to get this Xochi books publication from a book seller in California. The bibliography says that "Wild Shot: William Burroughs in Mexico-1949-1952" has an English translation by Grauerholz and Jose Ferez which was sent to Xochi books. Has anyone seen it and is Xochi Publications even still around?

Thanks.


Xochi is (was?) pretty obscure. In addition to Unforgettable Characters they published Who Runs May Read, a collection of interviews with Brion Gysin. They were based in Australia and published their books in very small editions (Unforgettable Characters was published in an edition of 123 copies!). So far as I can make out, they never really published Wild Shot. What's more, I can't imagine why Grauerholz would consign a relatively important text to such a puny publisher.

I don't know much more than that, but I'll see if I can find out anything.
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Postby Frank » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:38 pm

quote from biblio, "Grauerholz, James and Ferez, Jose (English translation). The Wild SHot: William S. Burroughs in Mexico (1949-1952). The Ferez/Grauerholz translation was furnished to Xochi publications "William Burroughs Communications". end quote.

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Postby RealityStudio » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:55 pm

Frank wrote:quote from biblio, "Grauerholz, James and Ferez, Jose (English translation). The Wild SHot: William S. Burroughs in Mexico (1949-1952). The Ferez/Grauerholz translation was furnished to Xochi publications "William Burroughs Communications". end quote.


That implies that Jose Ferez translated the text, and that Grauerholz authored it, no? If so, that would make no sense at all. JG would write in English, and maybe Ferez would translate into Spanish.

I wonder if this was just that Mexico chapter from JG's bio that you can download in pdf form online?
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Postby Frank » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:59 pm

I thought that it meant that Grauerholz helped with the translation. Either way, I see no evidence of an English translation of the book or any evidence that Xochi is still on the map. Thanks.

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Postby Frank » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:33 pm

I may have caused a confusion. THe English translation was of the book published in Mexico by Jorje Robles Garcia. Sorry.

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Postby RealityStudio » Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:15 pm

Aha. You mean this:

Jorge García-Robles, La bala perdida: William S. Burroughs en México, 1949-1952

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9687419083/

I can't find any reference to an English language edition of that book appearing.
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Postby Mr Lightfoot » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:57 am

I think I saw a copy of this book, in English, in a bookshop in Melbourne, Australia (It is on the east coast, and I'm on the west, so I can't easily check it out). From memory they had a fair few copies there... although this was about 2 years ago, come to think of it. I looked through the book and thought it seemed a little too small and insubstantial for me to be interested- although I was pretty poor at the time too. I seem to recall being surprised that it was published in Australia, so it was probably the aforementioned Xochi edition. There was stuff about Luba (I may have the name wrong)- the large lady who used to deal heroin in Mexico? She hid the drugs under the folds of her skin or something? WSB has written about her elsewhere. Anyway, here is a link to the bookshop where I saw this book... or something very similar:

http://www.polyester.com.au/home.html

They are an established dealer in underground lit here in Australia. I'm sure they would be happy to mail you a copy if they still have some, or else would know where you could get one. It is such a small book that I'm sure postage would be cheep.

Does anyone know if William Burroughs Communications (whatever that constitutes these days, besides the apparent stewardship of Mr. Grauerholz) is at all open to being contacted about such matters?

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Postby Frank » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:13 am

Mr. Lightfoot, is the book that you saw maybe "Unforgettable Characters", which is the book which has the reference to the other book "Burroughs in Mexico" being in English translation? I wasn't aware that the "Burroughs in Mexico" book was a small book too.

Realitystudio, maybe the translated book was just "delivered" to Xochi and not published?

"Unforgettable Characters" is a very small book and is kinda odd looking.

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Postby Frank » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:22 am

looking at the reference for "Burroughs in Mex" that RealityStudio provided, the book is small, but at 112 pages it is almost twice the size of "Unforgettable CHaracters" which is 58 pages. Thanks for the link.

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Postby RealityStudio » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:31 am

Frank wrote:Realitystudio, maybe the translated book was just "delivered" to Xochi and not published?


That's my guess too. The peculiar thing, though, is that if Xochi didn't have the resources to publish it, why wouldn't the manuscript be given to someone else?

Mr Lightfoot wrote:Does anyone know if William Burroughs Communications (whatever that constitutes these days, besides the apparent stewardship of Mr. Grauerholz) is at all open to being contacted about such matters?


Unfortunately, I don't think Grauerholz is answering many emails these days -- at least not from people he doesn't know.

I sent an email to Jose Ferez asking him about the book, but I haven't heard back yet.
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Postby Mr Lightfoot » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:35 am

Yeah, Frank, it perhaps was the 'Unforgetable Characthers' book that I saw. It was very short. 58 pages sounds about right, and it was in a small format with a large typeface and large margins too. I seem to remember it having an Aztec design of some kind on it's cover, printed with red and black inks. Thats about all I can remember.

Shame 'William Burrough's Communications' isn't communicating a bit more, Mr. R.S. . Let's hope they endorse you and your efforts.

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Postby Frank » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:54 am

Mr. Lightfoot, that describes "Unforgettable Characters" to a tee. Thanks.

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Postby Frank » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:09 am

RealityStudio, I was thinking that maybe since the book was written by Garcia that it was up to him where it would be sent and not JG's?

Of course, another big question is, when is JG's book gonna be published?

Also, remember that small green booklet "Smack", which was a WSB interview in England? I had that once and, sadly, it didn't survive one of my many moves. I never saw it turn up at auctions and I wonder if it ever did, and if so how much it went for.

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Snack

Postby Jed » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:37 am

I think the book you are refering to is Snack which is a tape transcription of two interviews with Burroughs by scholar Eric Mottram who wrote the first in depth look at Burroughs' work The Alegbra of Need in the late 1960's.

There are a handful of copies of Snack available for sale on abebooks from $30 to $125 to a copy signed by Burroughs.


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