By Barry Miles
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Additional info for The Beat Hotel: Ginsberg, Burroughs & Corso in Paris, 1957-1963
Madame was tiny and energetic, her short arms habitually folded over her pale blue housecoat with its round smocked collar—the sort that workingwomen wore throughout the nineteenth century, except on Sundays. She ran the small bistro on the ground floor and registered the guests. The Rachous enjoyed the company of artists and writers and encouraged them to stay at the hotel. Madame Rachou would sometimes allow artists to pay with paintings, none of which she kept, not thinking for one moment that they would ever be valuable.
I published numerous articles by him in underground-press publications. I also cataloged his archives, coauthored his bibliography for the University of Virigina Bibliographical Society, and wrote a short biography of his life. During my last visit to William’s home in Kansas, I tape-recorded an interview with him for this book. Over the years we had often talked about his time at the Beat Hotel, which he regarded as a high point in his life, and he was always happy to revisit those times and recount the stories again.
1 happened to have Kenneth Tynan’s copy of the Michelin Paris Index and Plan, dating from 1973—given to me by Kathleen Tynan after Ken’s death, and as yet unopened by me—and when I turned to the page I wanted, there was Ken’s place marker with a note to himself: “Caveau de la Huchette. 5 rue de la Huchette. ” Voices speaking to us from the past. 19, rue Git-le-Coeur I view life as a fortuitous collaboration ascribable to the fact that one finds oneself in the right place at the right time. For us, the “right place” was the famous “Beat Hotel” in Paris, roughly from 1958 to 1963.