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Beat Writers in Historic Springfield: William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lewis Marker in Jax

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In 1952, while the Beat novelist William S. Burroughs awaited trial for killing his “common law” wife, Joan Vollmer, in Mexico City, he wrote most of the novel Queer, in which a fictionalized Burroughs named William Lee pursues a fictionalized Adelbert Lewis Marker of Jacksonville named Eugene Allerton with undisguised lustful aggression through Mexico City.

When Marker sought refuge back home in Jacksonville’s Victorian Springfield, Burroughs came to call, as did Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg wrote novelist Jack Kerouac about drinking rum with Marker on East 4th Street or East 6th Street. Burroughs wrote his first two novels for Marker, said if Marker didn’t like them, he’d never write again, though he seems to have forgotten the wife he’d just shot in the forehead and killed.