Follow the beats... Trip to Tangier and Chefchaouen
Wanna dazzle like Burroughs, challenge like Ginsberg, lounge like Capote? Only one city offers a taste of the legendary journey these literary giants took. That city is Tangier.
Debauched, delightful, ancient, modern, few cities merge so casually with the past and the present. Tangier's unique literary history is in part due to its spell as an international free zone, from 1923 to 1956. During this time, its lawlessness was infamous. Burroughs described it as a magnet for 'junkies, queers, drunks.'
William Burroughs is the writer that links Tangier and the Beats. He arrived in 1954 and wrote his masterpiece in room 9 of the Hotel Continental which overlooks Tangier port. Ginsberg and Kerouac visited. As did Timothy Leary. Their crazy adventures together often found a way into Beat books. Burroughs was not alone in finding inspiration in Tangier.
The Tangier canon includes America by Allen Ginsberg, Let It Come Down by Paul Bowles, Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac, The Thief's Journal by Jean Genet and more recently, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Paul Bowles, the writer who is inextricably linked with Tangier was unlike the Beats. Always dressed impeccably, he once found Burroughs and Ginsberg sat amidst a sprawling pile of dirty pages and was horrified to discover it was Burroughs's manuscript.
For Bowles the fascination with Tangier lay in the city itself. He loved its peoples, its diversity of life, its literature. He dedicated a vast portion of his life to translating many authors, effectively giving Moroccan literature to the western world. Of the dozens of books he translated, Mohammed Choukri's For Bread Alone is amongst the most renowned.
Other writers that enjoyed decadent respite in Tangier include Tennessee Williams, Jack Kerouac, Samuel Beckett, Gertrude Stein, Gore Vidal, Walter Harris and Ian Fleming. If these eminent writers could carve celebrated careers taking inspiration from this enigmatic city, imagine what it could do for you? Delay no more, discover an essential literary past. Discover Tangier.