Penguin Books, January 1987. First Edition. Trade Paperback. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. / No Jacket. Item #L071086
Slight rubbing to wrappers; slight curl to foredge of upper wrapper; previous owner's ink inscription on first preliminary page; slight internal browning to edges. xxiii, , 134 pages. First softcover issue of the long-suppressed 'forthright depiction of homosexual longing ... [s]et in the corrupt and spectral Mexico City of the forties' (lower wrapper). Notable for the frontispiece photographic portrait of Burroughs in 1953 by Allen Ginsberg (with Ginsberg's holographic description in facsimile). Originally published in hardcover format in 1985. Boldly signed and inscribed by Burroughs in black marker on title page: 'for Steve [Lowe] / William S. Burroughs / 4/27/90' (above title imprint; with line of squiggles beneath publisher's imprint). Provenance: From the estate of Steven Harrison Lowe (formerly of Desert Hot Springs, CA). From the early 1970s until 1997, Lowe was an assistant to and collaborator with author, artist, cultural phenomenon and outcast William S. Burroughs. The two men enjoyed a long friendship and created art pieces, many of which were shown in the 1980s and 1990s at Casa Sin Nombre, Lowe's art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. William S. Burroughs (1914-97) was born in the Midwest, and graduated from Harvard with an art degree in 1936. He was often a rascal, notorious for his addiction to heroin, and the shooting of his wife at a party in Mexico (the so-called 'William Tell' incident). He'd worked and played in Vienna, Paris, London, Tangiers, Chicago, Mexico, and New York before finally retiring to Lawrence, Kansas in the 1990s, where he died. He stood the literary establishment on its ear in 1959 with the publication of his Beat classic Naked Lunch. During the 1980s, Burroughs combined his predilection for firearms with his desire to paint. His 'gunshot paintings' were nearly as controversial in the art world as Naked Lunch had been in the literary world decades earlier.Ginsberg, Allen (photographer); 1 b/w Photograph (frontispiece portrait).