The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

February 5, 2014

February 5, 1914

Stephen Gertz has a lovely blog named Booktryst, about books and book collecting.  I have gotten stuff from him before and no doubt will again. Not because he has a cat, (he does not), but because he brings new and interesting things to my attention. Things like this drama:

I reach back into a box and take out The Cat Inside, one of eighteen copies signed by Bill and Brion Gysin out of a total edition of 133 copies, and printed on fine Crisbrook paper, the entire book produced and published by the legendary Grenfell Press in 1986...

The Cat Inside was written by William S. Burroughs, (February 5, 1914 to August 2, 1997) the American novelist famed as much for his biography as his books, like Naked Lunch (1959). The Cat Inside rest assured,  is about kitty-cats. Burroughs was an ailurophile.  The book and its author in the 1980s, are an unexpected surprise based on the previous flamboyant decades.  Gertz mentions this book as 

...the last collaboration between Burroughs and Gysin [the illustrator] and certainly Burroughs' most sentimentally affecting work, written at a time when his personal and artistic maelstrom had somewhat settled and he could delight in the simple comfort of feline companionship and relate to the feline soul. Yet Burroughs was always--and remains, even after his death--the hippest cat on the scene. Bill's jinn leans over to me and whispers these words from the text, which can stand as a Beat Manifesto: "We are the cats inside. We are the cats who cannot walk alone, and for us there is only one place."

For Burroughs, that place, wherever it might have been in his head when he penned those lines, is in the literary firmament... 

You can get a free subscription to Gertz's newletter at his website. If you like books. The cat themes are not common.  

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