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Beat Response #5

Beat Response #5 - describing his experiences he...

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The Beat Hotel Response Paper #5 When reading "The Yage Letters" by William S. Burroughs, I was pretty amazed to find out that the book was about letters between William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg's adventures to South Africa in search for a hallucination drug yage. I found it more interesting that although they've traveled miles to find this particular drug, they are both terrified with the side affects of the drug. We are able to see this in the second section of the book where Ginsberg is replying to a letter from Burroughs with complete horror and paranoia when he says "I hardly have the nerve to look back, afraid of some real madness", at his experience with the yage. While Burroughs is living the same nightmare when he decide to take the plant brew with several brujos in the Amazon jungle, and he is given a dark vision of horror. When
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Unformatted text preview: describing his experiences he says "Yage is space time travel. The room seems to shake and vibrate with motion. The blood and substance of many races, Negro, Polynesian, Mountain Mongol, Desert Nomad, Polyglot Near East, Indian – new races as yet unconceived and unborn, combinations not yet realized passes through your body. Migrations, incredible journeys through deserts and jungles and mountains (stasis and death in closed mountain valleys where plants sprout out of your cock and vast crustaceans hatch inside and break the shell of the body), across the Pacific in an outrigger canoe to Easter Island. The Composite City where all human potentials are spread out in a vast silent market”. Although his visions were scary and the yage gave him a death visual, it seems like even though he was terrified, he needed the vision....
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