A typed letter signed ('William') from William Burroughs to Harold Norse, dated August 4, 1986, informing him of the death of "our dear friend Brion Gysin". Together with Norse's reply, a tls dated August 9, 1986. William S. BURROUGHS, Harold NORSE.
A typed letter signed ('William') from William Burroughs to Harold Norse, dated August 4, 1986, informing him of the death of "our dear friend Brion Gysin". Together with Norse's reply, a tls dated August 9, 1986.

81.

A typed letter signed ('William') from William Burroughs to Harold Norse, dated August 4, 1986, informing him of the death of "our dear friend Brion Gysin". Together with Norse's reply, a tls dated August 9, 1986.

Both single sheets, each folded twice for mailing, accompanied by the original envelope from Burroughs' letter (franked Kansas City August 6, 1986, and bearing the stamp of 'William Burroughs Communications').

Burroughs' description of Gysin's final weeks (he died on July 13), his cremation at Pere Lachaise, and the projected hommage to him organised by Ira Cohen is written in a very matter-of-fact style, possibly an indication of the depression he fell into following the death of his friend. His closing remark - "I wish I could have seen him one more time" - adds a poignant note (in fact, Burroughs had booked a flight to Paris, but Gysin died before its departure date).

In his reply, Norse writes about how Gysin "had a rich, splendid life although he didn't always think so. The Beat Hotel period was certainly a peak creative experience in my life and I know that Brion felt the same way. We owe that to you, dear Bill." He continues with the wish that James Grauerholz could find the photographic negatives of Burroughs, Gysin and himself taken by Anne Waldman and Patti Smith "using your camera. I would like some for my Memoirs", the future publication of which he elaborates on further.

Burroughs and Norse first met in Paris at the Beat Hotel in 1959, and it was through Norse that Burroughs was introduced to Ian Sommerville. Ten years later, while both were living in London, Burroughs enlisted the help of Norse during his experiments with Scientology.

Sold