I enjoyed reading “William Burroughs: Fascinating biography captures a dark talent,” Michael Dirda’s Jan. 30 Style review of Barry Miles’s biography of William S. Burroughs. But I was amused by his first paragraph, in which Dirda referenced Daniel Boorstin’s book “The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination,” which suggested that many “writers and painters were not the sort of guests one would want at an elegant Georgetown dinner party.”
That was not always the case. After Allan Ginsberg won the National Book Award for poetry in 1974, I drove Burroughs, Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky from a poetry reading to Amie and Huntington “Bucky” Block’s Georgetown mansion. The three of them were staying there, and a dinner was to be held in their honor. I went with the three men to the top floor of the house, where we smoked a joint together. Ginsberg also had me join the dinner, though I was not originally an invited guest.
Sometimes “drug addicts, perverts, drunks, sex fiends . . . and criminals,” as they were described at the beginning of Dirda’s review, were guests at elegant Georgetown dinner parties.
Chris Murray, Washington