Friday, 14 March 2008

Automatic Pilot

Automatic Pilot was the first English title by the French poet and collagist Claude Pelieu (1934-2002). Translated by Pelieu's companion Mary Beach, the book was published in 1964 in New York by Ed Sanders' Fuck You Press.

Automatic Pilot is an extremely rare title now, but you can still find other English translations of Pelieu's poetry and cut-ups - such as Whistling down the wire, Opal USA and With revolvers aimed...fingerbowls - on

Pelieu and Beach were legendary characters in the art and poetry undeground scene of the 1960s and 1970s, whether in New York, London or San Francisco.

An often-repeated story about Pelieu's antics concerns his drunkenly pissing in Norman Mailer's pocket at a party, and thereafter Mailer made a point of putting his hands in his pockets whenever he saw Pelieu approaching.

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