The Last Museum

Brion Gysin


Book, 19.7 x 12.4 cm, 186 p, language : English, publisher : Faber and Faber Limited, London, ISBN : 0-571-13938-8.
Materials: Ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2026/521).

Literary synopsis

"The Last Museum is Gysin’s final novel, a loose and freewheeling remembrance of the famous Beat Hotel, told as postmortem adventure in the Bardo, the intermediate death state of Tibetan Buddhism. The work itself is, sadly, a truncated version of Gysin’s much longer unpublished text. There is a progression through the rooms of the Hotel, which is itself being removed piecemeal by the Interdead International Movers to a vast museum site on the San Andreas faultline (the west is the realm of the dead), where it will share space with the Sphinx, the Louvre, the Acropolis, and other detritus of human civilization. Anyone hoping for a simple and straightforward narrative will be disappointed; there are a dizzying number of shifts of name, gender, and sexual orientation, quite often within the same sentence. One of the pleasures of this book is in the anecdotes, the thinly disguised references to the Beats and their associates that we tease from the text. Gysin’s reimagining of his life as he travels the stygian stream of memory is scatological, raunchy, at times tedious, and at times hilarious. Apparently a life of Rabelaisian pansexuality was, in his last years, Gysin’s fondest recollection. He reveals himself - and I say this with no malice - as the pervert’s Dante."

Novel's website

Authorship: Artist Author.

Creative Strategy: No Link to Artworks.

Genre: Autobiography.

Publishing: Publishing House.

Theme: Death, Mysticism.

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