Litview

Originally published in Psypress Vol XVIIImy in-depth interview with LSD historian Andy Roberts covers his new book, Acid Drops, and much more. We compare notes on the mind-bending properties of Operation Julie acid and generally muse about tripping in the 1970s, with Andy giving examples of the various weird acid synchronicities he’s experienced. Now online in this abridged version.
The second volume in the Nemu’s End series finds the self-styled Reverend Danny Nemu looking inwards to explore the personal apocalypse, where the veils of regular cognition are rent asunder and an unbounded world of revelation manifests beyond. He focuses on how the constrictions and convolutions of language work to dilute the divine, drawing its sting and rendering it into the conventions of whatever zeitgeist that currently obtains.

My essay 'Beats on Acid', which originally appeared in Psypress UK 2014 Vol III, now features in the anthology Out of the Shadows, published by the Muswell Hill Press in July and launched at Breaking Convention. It covers the recreational and psychonautic drug experiments of Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg and how they broke the ground for the counterculture movement. 

Review of Dr Ben Sessa's first novel, now appearing on the Psypress UK site. It features two psychiatrists setting up a psychedelic medicine centre on a muddy Somerset farm, and a supporting cast of New Age weirdos, plodding psychiatric journeymen and burnt out-headcases. It's a rip-roaring read that leaves a constant smile on the face.

Psychedelic Press UK Journal 2015 Vol III, publishing in June, features my in-depth review of John Long's study Drugs and the Beats. It also includes other history-related pieces by Henrik Dahl, David Black and Sam Gandy.

The 2014 Vol IV issue contains my review of Barry Miles' biography of William Burroughs, together with essays by David Luke, Ross Heaven and Simon G. Powell.

Now featuring in Big Jelly on Medium, this list compiles the some of the wackiest information and most outlandish escapades of this major 20th century avant garde figure.

Guns, the occult, literary experiments, heroin, ayahuasca, the Beatles, alien abduction...what wasn't Burroughs into?

Now appearing on the Psypress UK site, this essay explores how the non-linear structure and phantasmagorical imagery of Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch owes a considerable debt to his hallucinogenic ayahuasca and majoun experiences in the early 1950s.

'I have a friend whom I shall call Brian who suffers from obsessive-checking syndrome...' This self-help style piece about the paradox at the heart of obsessive checking was inspired by browsing articles on quantum mechanics.

Psychedelic Press UK Journal 2014 Vol III (Kindle version only, print version sold out) features my article 'Beats on Acid'. It tells about what happened when the original hipsters encountered the new 1960s era of tripping. Allen Ginsberg took mushrooms, declared himself 'the Messiah', and plotted with Timothy Leary to turn on the world. Meanwhile Neal Cassady passed the Acid Test with Ken Kesey and drove the legendary bus 'Furthur' off into the sunset and immortality. But for Bill Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, the transition wasn't that simple...

The piece features in the anthology Out of the Shadows, published by the Muswell Hill Press in July 2015.

Ayahuasca looms large in today's psychonautic zeitgeist, but way back in the early '50s Burroughs became one the first Westerners to explore its secrets, and its influence on his writing was profound indeed. Now republished on Psychedelic Press.

Robert Dickins' first novel blends psychonautic experience and festival culture in a startlingly original and creative fusion. It's a work that anyone who wants to sample a slice of today's psychedelic zeitgeist should read. 

Jeanette Winterson's misery memoir tracks the territory of her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruitbut goes much further in exploring her struggle with the issue of being an adopted child. A very frank and revealing read.

Horatio Clare's memoir of bipolar disorder and 'cannabis addiction' is honest, unsparing and sometimes harrowing in its revelations, but then the writing itself, in the confessional tradition, has had an evident cathartic function for the author.

Leaf Fielding's marvellous memoir gives extraordinary insight into the early days of acid counter culture and the dark years following the legendary Operation Julie raid. 

Bill Booker's 1970s Kerouacian acid memoir bears such an uncanny resemblance to The Mad Artist that Bill and I have hardly stopped talking about the similarities! Well, great minds think alike!

David Shield's study of the interrelationship of fact and fiction in novels and memoirs so resonated with my own thinking that I came up with this piece, applying his perspectives to The Mad Artist and other drug memoirs.

Stephen Smith's memoir of rampant dexedrine addiction and general craziness has proved a perennial favorite, and it's sparked many a debate about the interface between factual reporting and sensationalism.

A collection of essays by Albert Hoffmann, discoverer of LSD, and others, covering topics such as chemistry as alchemy, together with personal anecdotes about this remarkable and well-loved 20th century figure, who lived to the remarkable age of 102.

In this important late Romantic era drug-lit classic, poet Charles Baudelaire discusses and compares the intoxicating effects of wine, hashish and opium, with many lyrical and incisive passages, displaying the influence of such substances on a great creative mind.

Andy Roberts gives the British side of the LSD story, with tales of military experiments at the Porton Down chemical weapons facility, early examples of LSD psychotherapy and the more familiar ‘swinging ’60s’, the free festival movement and beyond.

A study of how the blockbuster film trilogy will forever affect our future reading of the Tolkien novels.

This Nicholas Royle novel is a wonderful fusion of crime, surrealism and film buff ephemera.

 


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