Minutes to Go.Paris: Two Cities Editions, 1960 Stock Code: 146682
First edition, first impression, of the first book of cut-up poems, signed on the title page by Brion Gysin. Burroughs and Gysin had met at the Beat Hotel in Paris, in October 1959, where Burroughs was first introduced to Gysin's cut-up paintings, which influenced much of his later writing. The two became lifelong friends, and collaborated on many books together, of which this was their first.
By the time they had met, Gysin had already contributed the notorious marijuana fudge recipe to Alice B. Toklas's Cookbook, and the pair's time in Paris together was dominated by "mirror-gazing, scrying, trance and telepathy, all fuelled by a wide variety of mind-altering drugs" (Stevens, p. 50). It was from this febrile atmosphere that the present book emerged. Burroughs contributes eleven pieces to the volume, and Gysin five, including "First Cut-Ups" and the titular poem, "Minutes to Go". The cut-up technique later influenced some of the 20th century's most important artists, from the Beat Generation to David Bowie.
Octavo. Original blue and white wrappers, rear wrapper designed by Gysin, title to spine in blue.
Slight fading to spine and edges of wrappers, else bright, contents crisp and clean. A near-fine copy.
Maynard and Miles A3a; Matthew Levi Stevens, The Magical Universe of William S. Burroughs, 1999.
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