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Host: October Gallery
Location: October Gallery 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL
Speaker: Andrew Lees Jim Pennington

In this extraordinary caprice, neuroscientist Andrew Lees explains how William Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch and troubled drug addict, played an unlikely part in his medical career. Lees draws on Burroughs’ search for an addiction cure to discover a ground-breaking treatment for shaking palsy, and learns how to use the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes to diagnose patients. Lees follows Burroughs into the rainforest and under the influence of yagé (ayahuasca) gains insights that encourage him to pursue new lines of pharmacological research and explore new forms of science.

Mentored by a Madman: the William Burroughs Experiment is published by Notting Hill Editions on 25th May 2016

Prof Andrew Lees was born on Merseyside and is a Professor of Neurology at The National Hospital, Queen Square and University College London, and is in the top three most highly cited Parkinson’s disease researchers in the world and included in Thomson Reuters 2015 List of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

Jim Pennington has worked as a printer and in the trade since leaving the London College of Printing in 1972. He co-edits and produces, with Allen Fisher, numerous publications under the Aloes Books / Spanner imprint. Amongst the works published are books by Kathy Acker, William Burroughs, Max Blagg, Jeff Nuttall and Patti Smith. Current research is concentrating on the time William Burroughs spent in London during the 60s, and the rocket science required to be a cosmonaut of Inner Space. Recent printing activities involve experiments on Gestetner stencil duplicators.

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