Tag Archives: William S. Burroughs

Almanac – March 12

1507 – Cesare Borgia died. Italian nobleman, politician, and cardinal. He was the son of Pope Alexander VI and his long-term mistress Vannozza dei Cattanei, and  the brother of Lucrezia Borgia. He was killed  while fighting in the city of Viana, Spain.

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1626 – John Aubrey born.  English antiquary, natural philosopher and writer.  He was a pioneer archaeologist, who recorded (often for the first time) numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, and who is particularly noted as the discoverer of the Avebury henge monument.  The Aubrey holes at Stonehenge are named after him, although there is considerable doubt as to whether the holes that he observed are those that currently bear the name.

 He was also a pioneer folklorist, collecting together a miscellany of material on customs, traditions and beliefs under the title “Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme”.

He set out to compile county histories of both Wiltshire and Surrey, although both projects remained unfinished. His “Interpretation of Villare Anglicanum” (also unfinished) was the first attempt to compile a full-length study of English place-names.

He had wider interests in applied mathematics and astronomy, and was friendly with many of the greatest scientists of the day.

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1922 – Jack Kerouac born. American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation.

Kerouac is recognized for his spontaneous method of writing, covering topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.

All of his books are in print today, among them: On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, The Subterraneans, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, The Sea is My Brother, and Big Sur.

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1955 – Charlie Parker died. American jazz saxophonist and composer. Miles Davis once said, “You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.”

Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and improvisation. Parker introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions.

He acquired the nickname “Yardbird” early in his career and the shortened form, “Bird”, which continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspired the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as “Yardbird Suite” and “Ornithology.

Parker died in the suite of his friend and patron Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter at the Stanhope Hotel in New York City while watching The Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show on television.

The official causes of death were lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer but Parker also had an advanced case of cirrhosis and had suffered a heart attack. The coroner who performed his autopsy mistakenly estimated Parker’s 34-year-old body to be between 50 and 60 years of age.

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Almanac – February 05

1908 –  Daisy and Violet Hilton born.  Pair of English  conjoined twins or Siamese Twins who toured in the U.S. sideshow and vaudeville circuit in the 1930s, and appeared in cult film Freaks.

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1914 – William S. Burroughs born. American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be “one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century.”

His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays.He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

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1941 – Banjo Paterson died.  Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson’s more notable poems include “Waltzing Matilda”, “The Man from Snowy River” and “Clancy of the Overflow”.

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Almanac – August 2

1100 – William Rufus [William II, second Norman king of England]  killed  while hunting in the New Forest, by an arrow through the lung, but the circumstances remain unclear. The arrow was alledgedly shot by a nobleman named Walter Tirel,  although the description of events was later embroidered with more information,  the earliest statement of the event was in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which only  noted that the king was “shot by an arrow by one of his own men”.

Later chroniclers added the name of the alledged killer  and a number of other details which may or may not be true.The first mention of any location more exact than the New Forest comes from John Leland writing in 1530 who stated that the king died at Thorougham a placename which has since fallen into disuse but was probably located at what is now Park Farm on the Beaulieu estates.



1865 – Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll first published – then quickly withdrawn due to bad printing. Only 21 copies of this first edition known to survive.

1876 – Wild Bill Hickok died while  playing poker at Nuttal & Mann’s Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, in the Black Hills, Dakota Territory. He  usually sat with his back to a wall, but the only seat available when he joined the poker game that night was a chair that put his back to a door. Twice he asked another player, Charles Rich, to change seats with him, and on both occasions Rich refused.

A former buffalo hunter named John McCall (better known as “Jack” or “Broken Nose Jack” McCall) walked in unnoticed. McCall walked to within a few feet of Hickok, drew a pistol and shouted, “Take that!” before firing at Hickok.McCall’s bullet hit Hickok in the back of the head, killing him instantly. The bullet emerged through Hickok’s right cheek, striking a  Captain Massie in the left wrist.

When shot, Hickock was holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights, all black. The fifth card’s identity is debated, or perhaps it  had been discarded and its replacement had not yet been dealt.



1898 – The first disc record recorded in the UK. Syria Lamonte singing Comin’ Thro The Rye.

1997 – William S. Burroughs died. American novelist, short story writer, essayist and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century. His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

Mr. Frankenstein

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