William S. Burroughs

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For other people named William Burroughs, see William Burroughs (disambiguation). William S. Burroughs_sentence_0

William S. Burroughs_table_infobox_0

William S. BurroughsWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_0_0
BornWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_1_0 William Seward Burroughs II

(1914-02-05)February 5, 1914 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.William S. Burroughs_cell_0_1_1

DiedWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_2_0 August 2, 1997(1997-08-02) (aged 83)

Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.William S. Burroughs_cell_0_2_1

Pen nameWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_3_0 William LeeWilliam S. Burroughs_cell_0_3_1
OccupationWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_4_0 AuthorWilliam S. Burroughs_cell_0_4_1
Alma materWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_5_0 Harvard UniversityWilliam S. Burroughs_cell_0_5_1
GenreWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_6_0 Beat literature, paranoid fictionWilliam S. Burroughs_cell_0_6_1
Literary movementWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_7_0 Beat Generation, postmodernismWilliam S. Burroughs_cell_0_7_1
Notable worksWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_8_0 Junkie (1953)

Naked Lunch (1959)

The Nova Trilogy (1961–1964)
Cities of the Red Night (1981) 
The Place of Dead Roads (1983)William S. Burroughs_cell_0_8_1
SpouseWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_9_0 Ilse Klapper (1937–1946)

Joan Vollmer (1946–1951)William S. Burroughs_cell_0_9_1

ChildrenWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_10_0 William S. Burroughs Jr.William S. Burroughs_cell_0_10_1
RelativesWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_11_0 William Seward Burroughs I (grandfather)

Ivy Lee (maternal uncle)William S. Burroughs_cell_0_11_1

SignatureWilliam S. Burroughs_header_cell_0_12_0 William S. Burroughs_cell_0_12_1

William Seward Burroughs II (/ˈbʌroʊz/; 5 February 1914 – 2 August 1997) was an American writer and visual artist. William S. Burroughs_sentence_1

Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodern author whose influence affected popular culture as well as literature. William S. Burroughs_sentence_2

Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. William S. Burroughs_sentence_3

Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. William S. Burroughs_sentence_4

He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians and made many appearances in films. William S. Burroughs_sentence_5

He was also briefly known by the pen name William Lee. William S. Burroughs_sentence_6

Burroughs created and exhibited thousands of paintings and other visual artworks, including his celebrated 'Gunshot Paintings'. William S. Burroughs_sentence_7

Burroughs was born into a wealthy family in St. William S. Burroughs_sentence_8 Louis, Missouri. William S. Burroughs_sentence_9

He was a grandson of inventor William Seward Burroughs I, who founded the Burroughs Corporation, and a nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. William S. Burroughs_sentence_10

Burroughs attended Harvard University, studied English, studied anthropology as a postgraduate, and attended medical school in Vienna. William S. Burroughs_sentence_11

In 1942, Burroughs enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve during World War II. William S. Burroughs_sentence_12

After being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and the Navy, he picked up the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life. William S. Burroughs_sentence_13

In 1943, while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. William S. Burroughs_sentence_14

Their mutual influence became the foundation of the Beat Generation, which was later a defining influence on the 1960s counterculture. William S. Burroughs_sentence_15

Burroughs killed his second wife, Joan Vollmer, in 1951 in Mexico City. William S. Burroughs_sentence_16

Burroughs initially claimed that he shot Vollmer while drunkenly attempting a "William Tell" stunt. William S. Burroughs_sentence_17

He later told investigators that he had been showing his pistol to friends when it fell and hit the table, firing the bullet that killed Vollmer. William S. Burroughs_sentence_18

After Burroughs returned to the United States, he was convicted of manslaughter in absentia and received a two-year suspended sentence. William S. Burroughs_sentence_19

Much of Burroughs' work is semiautobiographical, and is primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict. William S. Burroughs_sentence_20

He lived in Mexico City, London, Paris and the Tangier International Zone near Morocco, and also traveled in the South American Amazon rainforest. William S. Burroughs_sentence_21

His work features frequent mystical, occult, or otherwise magical themes – a constant preoccupation for Burroughs, both in fiction and in real life. William S. Burroughs_sentence_22

Burroughs found success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), but is perhaps best known for his third novel, Naked Lunch (1959). William S. Burroughs_sentence_23

Naked Lunch became the subject of one of the last major literary censorship cases in the United States after its US publisher, Grove Press, was sued for violating a Massachusetts obscenity statute. William S. Burroughs_sentence_24

With Brion Gysin, Burroughs also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961–1964). William S. Burroughs_sentence_25

In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. William S. Burroughs_sentence_26

In 1984, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. William S. Burroughs_sentence_27

Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift"; he owed this reputation to his "lifelong subversion" of the moral, political, and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism. William S. Burroughs_sentence_28

J. William S. Burroughs_sentence_29 G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be "the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War", while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius". William S. Burroughs_sentence_30

Early life and education William S. Burroughs_section_0

Burroughs was born in 1914, the younger of two sons born to Mortimer Perry Burroughs (June 16, 1885 – January 5, 1965) and Laura Hammon Lee (August 5, 1888 – October 20, 1970). William S. Burroughs_sentence_31

His was a prominent family of English ancestry in St. William S. Burroughs_sentence_32 Louis, Missouri. William S. Burroughs_sentence_33

His grandfather, William Seward Burroughs I, founded the Burroughs Adding Machine company, which evolved into the Burroughs Corporation. William S. Burroughs_sentence_34

Burroughs' mother was whose brother, Ivy Lee, was an advertising pioneer later employed as a publicist for the Rockefellers. William S. Burroughs_sentence_35

His father ran an antique and gift shop, Cobblestone Gardens in St. Louis; and later in Palm Beach, Florida when they relocated. William S. Burroughs_sentence_36

It was during his childhood that Burroughs' developed a lifelong interest in magic and the occult – topics which would find their way into his work repeatedly across the years. William S. Burroughs_sentence_37

Burroughs later described how he saw an apparition of a green reindeer in the woods as a child, which he identified as a totem animal, as well as a vision of ghostly grey figures at play in his bedroom. William S. Burroughs_sentence_38

As a boy, Burroughs lived on Pershing Avenue (now Pershing Place) in St. Louis' Central West End. William S. Burroughs_sentence_39

He attended John Burroughs School in St. Louis where his first published essay, "Personal Magnetism" – which revolved around telepathic mind-control – was printed in the John Burroughs Review in 1929. William S. Burroughs_sentence_40

He then attended the Los Alamos Ranch School in New Mexico, which was stressful for him. William S. Burroughs_sentence_41

The school was a boarding school for the wealthy, "where the spindly sons of the rich could be transformed into manly specimens". William S. Burroughs_sentence_42

Burroughs kept journals documenting an erotic attachment to another boy. William S. Burroughs_sentence_43

According to his own account, he destroyed these later, ashamed of their content. William S. Burroughs_sentence_44

He kept his sexual orientation concealed from his family well into adulthood, due to the context in which he grew up and from which he fled – that is, a "family where displays of affection were considered embarrassing". William S. Burroughs_sentence_45

He became a well-known homosexual writer after the publication of Naked Lunch in 1959. William S. Burroughs_sentence_46

A common story says that he was expelled from Los Alamos after taking chloral hydrate in Santa Fe with a fellow student. William S. Burroughs_sentence_47

Yet, according to his own account, he left voluntarily: "During the Easter vacation of my second year I persuaded my family to let me stay in St. William S. Burroughs_sentence_48

Louis." William S. Burroughs_sentence_49

Harvard University William S. Burroughs_section_1

Burroughs finished high school at Taylor School in Clayton, Missouri, and in 1932 left home to pursue an arts degree at Harvard University, where he was affiliated with Adams House. William S. Burroughs_sentence_50

During the summers, he worked as a cub reporter for the St. William S. Burroughs_sentence_51 Louis Post-Dispatch, covering the police docket. William S. Burroughs_sentence_52

He disliked the work, and refused to cover some events, like the death of a drowned child. William S. Burroughs_sentence_53

He lost his virginity in an East St. Louis, Illinois brothel that summer with a female prostitute whom he regularly patronized. William S. Burroughs_sentence_54

While at Harvard, Burroughs made trips to New York City and was introduced to the gay subculture there. William S. Burroughs_sentence_55

He visited lesbian dives, piano bars, and the Harlem and Greenwich Village homosexual underground with Richard Stern, a wealthy friend from Kansas City. William S. Burroughs_sentence_56

They would drive from Boston to New York in a reckless fashion. William S. Burroughs_sentence_57

Once, Stern scared Burroughs so badly that he asked to be let out of the vehicle. William S. Burroughs_sentence_58

Burroughs graduated from Harvard in 1936. William S. Burroughs_sentence_59

According to Ted Morgan's Literary Outlaw, William S. Burroughs_sentence_60

Burroughs' parents sold the rights to his grandfather's invention and had no share in the Burroughs Corporation. William S. Burroughs_sentence_61

Shortly before the 1929 stock market crash, they sold their stock for $200,000 (equivalent to approximately $2,977,907 in today's funds). William S. Burroughs_sentence_62

Europe William S. Burroughs_section_2

After Burroughs graduated from Harvard, his formal education ended, except for brief flirtations with graduate study of anthropology at Columbia and medicine in Vienna, Austria. William S. Burroughs_sentence_63

He traveled to Europe and became involved in Austrian and Hungarian Weimar-era LGBT culture; he picked up young men in steam baths in Vienna and moved in a circle of exiles, homosexuals, and runaways. William S. Burroughs_sentence_64

There, he met Ilse Klapper, née Herzfeld (1900–1982), a Jewish woman fleeing the country's Nazi government. William S. Burroughs_sentence_65

The two were never romantically involved, but Burroughs married her, in Croatia, against the wishes of his parents, to allow her to gain a visa to the United States. William S. Burroughs_sentence_66

She made her way to New York City, and eventually divorced Burroughs, although they remained friends for many years. William S. Burroughs_sentence_67

After returning to the United States, he held a string of uninteresting jobs. William S. Burroughs_sentence_68

In 1939, his mental health became a concern for his parents, especially after he deliberately severed the last joint of his left little finger at the knuckle to impress a man with whom he was infatuated. William S. Burroughs_sentence_69

This event made its way into his early fiction as the short story "The Finger." William S. Burroughs_sentence_70

Beginning of the Beats William S. Burroughs_section_3

Burroughs enlisted in the U.S. William S. Burroughs_sentence_71 Army early in 1942, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. William S. Burroughs_sentence_72

But when he was classified as a 1-A infantry, not an officer, he became dejected. William S. Burroughs_sentence_73

His mother recognized her son's depression and got Burroughs a civilian disability discharge – a release from duty based on the premise that he should have not been allowed to enlist due to previous mental instability. William S. Burroughs_sentence_74

After being evaluated by a family friend, who was also a neurologist at a psychiatric treatment center, Burroughs waited five months in limbo at Jefferson Barracks outside St. Louis before being discharged. William S. Burroughs_sentence_75

During that time he met a Chicago soldier also awaiting release, and once Burroughs was free, he moved to Chicago and held a variety of jobs, including one as an exterminator. William S. Burroughs_sentence_76

When two of his friends from St. Louis – University of Chicago student Lucien Carr and his admirer, David Kammerer – left for New York City, Burroughs followed. William S. Burroughs_sentence_77

Joan Vollmer William S. Burroughs_section_4

In 1944, Burroughs began living with Joan Vollmer Adams in an apartment they shared with Jack Kerouac and Edie Parker, Kerouac's first wife. William S. Burroughs_sentence_78

Vollmer Adams was married to a G.I. William S. Burroughs_sentence_79

with whom she had a young daughter, Julie Adams. William S. Burroughs_sentence_80

Burroughs and Kerouac got into trouble with the law for failing to report a murder involving Lucien Carr, who had killed David Kammerer in a confrontation over Kammerer's incessant and unwanted advances. William S. Burroughs_sentence_81

This incident inspired Burroughs and Kerouac to collaborate on a novel titled And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks, completed in 1945. William S. Burroughs_sentence_82

The two fledgling authors were unable to get it published, but the manuscript was eventually published in November 2008 by Grove Press and Penguin Books. William S. Burroughs_sentence_83

During this time, Burroughs began using morphine and became addicted. William S. Burroughs_sentence_84

He eventually sold heroin in Greenwich Village to support his habit. William S. Burroughs_sentence_85

Vollmer also became an addict, but her drug of choice was Benzedrine, an amphetamine sold over the counter at that time. William S. Burroughs_sentence_86

Because of her addiction and social circle, her husband immediately divorced her after returning from the war. William S. Burroughs_sentence_87

With urging from Allen Ginsberg, and also perhaps Kerouac, Burroughs became intellectually and emotionally linked with Vollmer and by summer 1945, had moved in with Vollmer and her daughter. William S. Burroughs_sentence_88

In spring 1946, Burroughs was arrested for forging a narcotics prescription. William S. Burroughs_sentence_89

Vollmer asked her psychiatrist, a Dr. Wollberg, to sign a surety bond for Burroughs' release. William S. Burroughs_sentence_90

As part of his release, Burroughs returned to St. Louis under his parents' care, after which he left for Mexico to get a divorce from Ilse Klapper. William S. Burroughs_sentence_91

Meanwhile, Vollmer's addiction led to a temporary psychosis that resulted in her admission to Bellevue Hospital, which endangered the custody of her child. William S. Burroughs_sentence_92

Upon hearing this, Burroughs immediately returned to New York City to gain her release, asking her to marry him. William S. Burroughs_sentence_93

Their marriage was never formalized, but she lived as his common-law wife. William S. Burroughs_sentence_94

They returned to St. Louis to visit Burroughs' parents and then moved with her daughter to Texas. William S. Burroughs_sentence_95

Vollmer soon became pregnant with Burroughs' child. William S. Burroughs_sentence_96

Their son, William S. Burroughs Jr., was born in 1947. William S. Burroughs_sentence_97

The family moved briefly to New Orleans in 1948. William S. Burroughs_sentence_98

Mexico and South America (1950–1952) William S. Burroughs_section_5

Burroughs fled to Mexico to escape possible detention in Louisiana's Angola state prison. William S. Burroughs_sentence_99

Vollmer and their children followed him. William S. Burroughs_sentence_100

Burroughs planned to stay in Mexico for at least five years, the length of his charge's statute of limitations. William S. Burroughs_sentence_101

Burroughs also attended classes at the Mexico City College in 1950, studying Spanish, as well as "Mexican picture writing" (codices) and the Mayan language with R. William S. Burroughs_sentence_102 H. Barlow. William S. Burroughs_sentence_103

Vollmer's death William S. Burroughs_section_6

Their life in Mexico was by all accounts an unhappy one. William S. Burroughs_sentence_104

Without heroin and suffering from Benzedrine abuse, Burroughs began to pursue other men as his libido returned, while Vollmer, feeling abandoned, started to drink heavily and mock Burroughs openly. William S. Burroughs_sentence_105

One night while drinking with friends at a party above the American-owned Bounty Bar in Mexico City, a drunk Burroughs allegedly took his handgun from his travel bag and told his wife, "It's time for our William Tell act." William S. Burroughs_sentence_106

There is no indication that they had performed such an action previously. William S. Burroughs_sentence_107

Vollmer, who was also drinking heavily and undergoing amphetamine withdrawal, allegedly obliged him by putting a highball glass on her head. William S. Burroughs_sentence_108

Burroughs shot Vollmer in the head, killing her almost immediately. William S. Burroughs_sentence_109

Soon after the incident, Burroughs changed his account, claiming that he had dropped his gun and it had accidentally fired. William S. Burroughs_sentence_110

Burroughs spent 13 days in jail before his brother came to Mexico City and bribed Mexican lawyers and officials to release Burroughs on bail while he awaited trial for the killing, which was ruled culpable homicide. William S. Burroughs_sentence_111

Vollmer's daughter, Julie Adams, went to live with her grandmother, and William S. Burroughs Jr. went to St. Louis to live with his grandparents. William S. Burroughs_sentence_112

Burroughs reported every Monday morning to the jail in Mexico City while his prominent Mexican attorney worked to resolve the case. William S. Burroughs_sentence_113

According to James Grauerholz, two witnesses had agreed to testify that the gun had fired accidentally while he was checking to see if it was loaded, with ballistics experts bribed to support this story. William S. Burroughs_sentence_114

Nevertheless, the trial was continuously delayed and Burroughs began to write what would eventually become the short novel Queer while awaiting his trial. William S. Burroughs_sentence_115

Upon Burroughs' attorney fleeing Mexico in light of his own legal problems, Burroughs decided, according to Ted Morgan, to "skip" and return to the United States. William S. Burroughs_sentence_116

He was convicted in absentia of homicide and was given a two-year suspended sentence. William S. Burroughs_sentence_117

Although Burroughs was writing before the shooting of Joan Vollmer, this event marked him and, biographers argue, his work for the rest of his life. William S. Burroughs_sentence_118

Vollmer's death also resonated with Allen Ginsberg, who wrote of her in Dream Record: June 8, 1955, "Joan, what kind of knowledge have the dead? William S. Burroughs_sentence_119

Can you still love your mortal acquaintances? William S. Burroughs_sentence_120

What do you remember of us?" William S. Burroughs_sentence_121

In Burroughs: the Movie, Ginsberg said that Vollmer had seemed possibly suicidal in the weeks leading up to her death, and he suggested that this may have been a factor in her willingness to take part in the risky William Tell stunt. William S. Burroughs_sentence_122

The Yage Letters William S. Burroughs_section_7

After leaving Mexico, Burroughs drifted through South America for several months, seeking out a drug called yagé, which promised to give the user telepathic abilities. William S. Burroughs_sentence_123

A book composed of letters between Burroughs and Ginsberg, The Yage Letters, was published in 1963 by City Lights Books. William S. Burroughs_sentence_124

In 2006, a re-edited version, The Yage Letters Redux, showed that the letters were largely fictionalised from Burroughs' notes. William S. Burroughs_sentence_125

Beginning of literary career William S. Burroughs_section_8

Burroughs described Vollmer's death as a pivotal event in his life, and one which provoked his writing by exposing him to the risk of possession by a malevolent entity he called "the Ugly Spirit": William S. Burroughs_sentence_126

As Burroughs makes clear, he meant this reference to "possession" to be taken absolutely literally, stating: "My concept of possession is closer to the medieval model than to modern psychological explanations ... William S. Burroughs_sentence_127

I mean a definite possessing entity." William S. Burroughs_sentence_128

Burroughs' writing was intended as a form of "sorcery", in his own words – to disrupt language via methods such as the cut-up technique, and thus protect himself from possession. William S. Burroughs_sentence_129

Later in life, Burroughs described the Ugly Spirit as "Monopolistic, acquisitive evil. William S. Burroughs_sentence_130

Ugly evil. William S. Burroughs_sentence_131

The ugly American", and took part in a shamanic ceremony with the explicit aim of exorcising the Ugly Spirit. William S. Burroughs_sentence_132

Oliver Harris has questioned Burroughs' claim that Vollmer's death catalysed his writing, highlighting the importance for Queer of Burroughs' traumatic relationship with the boyfriend fictionalized in the story as Eugene Allerton, rather than the shooting of Vollmer. William S. Burroughs_sentence_133

In any case, he had begun to write in 1945. William S. Burroughs_sentence_134

Burroughs and Kerouac collaborated on And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, a mystery novel loosely based on the Carr–Kammerer situation and that at the time remained unpublished. William S. Burroughs_sentence_135

Years later, in the documentary What Happened to Kerouac?, Burroughs described it as "not a very distinguished work". William S. Burroughs_sentence_136

An excerpt of this work, in which Burroughs and Kerouac wrote alternating chapters, was finally published in Word Virus, a compendium of William Burroughs' writing that was published by his biographer after his death in 1997. William S. Burroughs_sentence_137

Before killing Vollmer, Burroughs had largely completed his first novel, Junkie, which was written at the urging of Allen Ginsberg, who was instrumental in getting the work published, even as a cheap mass-market paperback. William S. Burroughs_sentence_138

Ace Books published the novel in 1953 as part of an Ace Double under the pen name William Lee, retitling it Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict (it was later republished as Junkie, then in 1977 as Junky, and finally in 2003 as Junky: the definitive text of 'Junk', edited by Oliver Harris'). William S. Burroughs_sentence_139

Overseas William S. Burroughs_section_9

During 1953, Burroughs was at a loose end. William S. Burroughs_sentence_140

Due to legal problems, he was unable to live in the cities toward which he was most inclined. William S. Burroughs_sentence_141

He spent time with his parents in Palm Beach, Florida, and New York City with Allen Ginsberg. William S. Burroughs_sentence_142

When Ginsberg refused his romantic advances, Burroughs went to Rome to meet Alan Ansen on a vacation financed from his parents' continuing support. William S. Burroughs_sentence_143

He found Rome and Ansen's company dreary and, inspired by Paul Bowles' fiction, he decided to head for the Tangier International Zone, where he rented a room and began to write a large body of text that he personally referred to as Interzone. William S. Burroughs_sentence_144

To Burroughs, all signs directed a return to Tangier, a city where drugs were freely available and where financial support from his family would continue. William S. Burroughs_sentence_145

He realized that in the Moroccan culture he had found an environment that synchronized with his temperament and afforded no hindrances to pursuing his interests and indulging in his chosen activities. William S. Burroughs_sentence_146

He left for Tangier in November 1954 and spent the next four years there working on the fiction that would later become Naked Lunch, as well as attempting to write commercial articles about Tangier. William S. Burroughs_sentence_147

He sent these writings to Ginsberg, his literary agent for Junkie, but none was published until 1989 when Interzone, a collection of short stories, was published. William S. Burroughs_sentence_148

Under the strong influence of a marijuana confection known as majoun and a German-made opioid called Eukodol, Burroughs settled in to write. William S. Burroughs_sentence_149

Eventually, Ginsberg and Kerouac, who had traveled to Tangier in 1957, helped Burroughs type, edit, and arrange these episodes into Naked Lunch. William S. Burroughs_sentence_150

Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs_section_10

Further information: Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs_sentence_151

Whereas Junkie and Queer were conventional in style, Naked Lunch was his first venture into a nonlinear style. William S. Burroughs_sentence_152

After the publication of Naked Lunch, a book whose creation was to a certain extent the result of a series of contingencies, Burroughs was exposed to Brion Gysin's cut-up technique at the Beat Hotel in Paris in October 1959. William S. Burroughs_sentence_153

He began slicing up phrases and words to create new sentences. William S. Burroughs_sentence_154

At the Beat Hotel Burroughs discovered "a port of entry" into Gysin's canvases: "I don't think I had ever seen painting until I saw the painting of Brion Gysin." William S. Burroughs_sentence_155

The two would cultivate a long-term friendship that revolved around a mutual interest in artworks and cut-up techniques. William S. Burroughs_sentence_156

Scenes were slid together with little care for narrative. William S. Burroughs_sentence_157

Perhaps thinking of his crazed physician, Dr. Benway, he described Naked Lunch as a book that could be cut into at any point. William S. Burroughs_sentence_158

Although not considered science fiction, the book does seem to forecast AIDS, liposuction, and the crack pandemic. William S. Burroughs_sentence_159

Excerpts from Naked Lunch were first published in the United States in 1958. William S. Burroughs_sentence_160

The novel was initially rejected by City Lights Books, the publisher of Ginsberg's Howl; and Olympia Press publisher Maurice Girodias, who had published English-language novels in France that were controversial for their subjective views of sex and antisocial characters. William S. Burroughs_sentence_161

But Allen Ginsberg managed to get excerpts published in Black Mountain Review and Chicago Review in 1958. William S. Burroughs_sentence_162

Irving Rosenthal, student editor of Chicago Review, a quarterly journal partially subsidized by the university, promised to publish more excerpts from Naked Lunch, but he was fired from his position in 1958 after Chicago Daily News columnist Jack Mabley called the first excerpt obscene. William S. Burroughs_sentence_163

Rosenthal went on to publish more in his newly created literary journal Big Table No. William S. Burroughs_sentence_164

1; however, the United States Postmaster General ruled that copies could not be mailed to subscribers on the basis of obscenity laws. William S. Burroughs_sentence_165

John Ciardi did get a copy and wrote a positive review of the work, prompting a telegram from Allen Ginsberg praising the review. William S. Burroughs_sentence_166

This controversy made Naked Lunch interesting to Girodias again, and he published the novel in 1959. William S. Burroughs_sentence_167

After the novel was published, it slowly became notorious across Europe and the United States, garnering interest from not just members of the counterculture of the 1960s, but also literary critics such as Mary McCarthy. William S. Burroughs_sentence_168

Once published in the United States, Naked Lunch was prosecuted as obscene by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, followed by other states. William S. Burroughs_sentence_169

In 1966, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared the work "not obscene" on the basis of criteria developed largely to defend the book. William S. Burroughs_sentence_170

The case against Burroughs' novel still stands as the last obscenity trial against a work of literature – that is, a work consisting of words only, and not including illustrations or photographs – prosecuted in the United States. William S. Burroughs_sentence_171

The Word Hoard, the collection of manuscripts that produced Naked Lunch, also produced parts of the later works The Soft Machine (1961), The Ticket That Exploded (1962), and Nova Express (1964). William S. Burroughs_sentence_172

These novels feature extensive use of the cut-up technique that influenced all of Burroughs' subsequent fiction to a degree. William S. Burroughs_sentence_173

During Burroughs' friendship and artistic collaborations with Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville, the technique was combined with images, Gysin's paintings, and sound, via Somerville's tape recorders. William S. Burroughs_sentence_174

Burroughs was so dedicated to the cut-up method that he often defended his use of the technique before editors and publishers, most notably Dick Seaver at Grove Press in the 1960s and Holt, Rinehart & Winston in the 1980s. William S. Burroughs_sentence_175

The cut-up method, because of its random or mechanical basis for text generation, combined with the possibilities of mixing in text written by other writers, deemphasizes the traditional role of the writer as creator or originator of a string of words, while simultaneously exalting the importance of the writer's sensibility as an editor. William S. Burroughs_sentence_176

In this sense, the cut-up method may be considered as analogous to the collage method in the visual arts. William S. Burroughs_sentence_177

New restored editions of The Nova Trilogy (or Cut-Up Trilogy), edited by Oliver Harris (President of the European Beat Studies Network) and published in 2014, included notes and materials to reveal the care with which Burroughs used his methods and the complex histories of his manuscripts. William S. Burroughs_sentence_178

Paris and the "Beat Hotel" William S. Burroughs_section_11

Burroughs moved into a rundown hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris in 1959 when Naked Lunch was still looking for a publisher. William S. Burroughs_sentence_179

Tangier, with its political unrest, and criminals with whom he had become involved, became dangerous to Burroughs. William S. Burroughs_sentence_180

He went to Paris to meet Ginsberg and talk with Olympia Press. William S. Burroughs_sentence_181

He left behind a criminal charge which eventually caught up with him in Paris. William S. Burroughs_sentence_182

Paul Lund, a British former career criminal and cigarette smuggler whom Burroughs met in Tangier, was arrested on suspicion of importing narcotics into France. William S. Burroughs_sentence_183

Lund gave up Burroughs, and evidence implicated Burroughs in the importation of narcotics into France. William S. Burroughs_sentence_184

When the Moroccan authorities forwarded their investigation to French officials, Burroughs faced criminal charges in Paris for conspiracy to import opiates. William S. Burroughs_sentence_185

It was during this impending case that Maurice Girodias published Naked Lunch; its appearance helped to get Burroughs a suspended sentence, since a literary career, according to Ted Morgan, is a respected profession in France. William S. Burroughs_sentence_186

The "Beat Hotel" was a typical European-style boarding house hotel, with common toilets on every floor, and a small place for personal cooking in the room. William S. Burroughs_sentence_187

Life there was documented by the photographer Harold Chapman, who lived in the attic room. William S. Burroughs_sentence_188

This shabby, inexpensive hotel was populated by Gregory Corso, Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky for several months after Naked Lunch first appeared. William S. Burroughs_sentence_189

Burroughs' time at the Beat Hotel was dominated by occult experiments – "mirror-gazing, scrying, trance and telepathy, all fuelled by a wide variety of mind-altering drugs". William S. Burroughs_sentence_190

Later, Burroughs would describe "visions" obtained by staring into the mirror for hours at a time – his hands transformed into tentacles, or his whole image transforming into some strange entity, or visions of far-off places, or of other people rapidly undergoing metamorphosis. William S. Burroughs_sentence_191

It was from this febrile atmosphere that the famous cut-up technique emerged. William S. Burroughs_sentence_192

The actual process by which Naked Lunch was published was partly a function of its "cut-up" presentation to the printer. William S. Burroughs_sentence_193

Girodias had given Burroughs only ten days to prepare the manuscript for print galleys, and Burroughs sent over the manuscript in pieces, preparing the parts in no particular order. William S. Burroughs_sentence_194

When it was published in this authentically random manner, Burroughs liked it better than the initial plan. William S. Burroughs_sentence_195

International rights to the work were sold soon after, and Burroughs used the $3,000 advance from Grove Press to buy drugs (equivalent to approximately $26,000 in today's funds). William S. Burroughs_sentence_196

Naked Lunch was featured in a 1959 Life magazine cover story, partly as an article that highlighted the growing Beat literary movement. William S. Burroughs_sentence_197

During this time Burroughs found an outlet for material otherwise rendered unpublishable in Jeff Nuttall's My Own Mag. William S. Burroughs_sentence_198

Also, poetry by Burroughs' appeared in the avant garde little magazine Nomad at the beginning of the 1960s. William S. Burroughs_sentence_199

The London years William S. Burroughs_section_12

Burroughs left Paris for London in 1960 to visit Dr. Dent, a well-known English medical doctor who spearheaded a reputedly painless heroin withdrawal treatment using the drug apomorphine. William S. Burroughs_sentence_200

Dent's apomorphine cure was also used to treat alcoholism, although it was held by several people who undertook it to be no more than straightforward aversion therapy. William S. Burroughs_sentence_201

Burroughs however was convinced. William S. Burroughs_sentence_202

Following his first cure, he wrote a detailed appreciation of apomorphine and other cures, which he submitted to The British Journal of Addiction (Vol. 53, 1956) under the title "Letter From A Master Addict To Dangerous Drugs"; this letter is appended to many editions of Naked Lunch. William S. Burroughs_sentence_203

Though he ultimately relapsed, Burroughs ended up working out of London for six years, traveling back to the United States on several occasions, including one time escorting his son to the Lexington Narcotics Farm and Prison after the younger Burroughs had been convicted of prescription fraud in Florida. William S. Burroughs_sentence_204

In the "Afterword" to the compilation of his son's two previously published novels Speed and Kentucky Ham, Burroughs writes that he thought he had a "small habit" and left London quickly without any narcotics because he suspected the U.S. customs would search him very thoroughly on arrival. William S. Burroughs_sentence_205

He claims he went through the most excruciating two months of opiate withdrawal while seeing his son through his trial and sentencing, traveling with Billy to Lexington, Kentucky from Miami to ensure that his son entered the hospital that he had once spent time in as a volunteer admission. William S. Burroughs_sentence_206

Earlier, Burroughs revisited St. Louis, Missouri, taking a large advance from Playboy to write an article about his trip back to St. Louis, one that was eventually published in The Paris Review, after Burroughs refused to alter the style for Playboy’s publishers. William S. Burroughs_sentence_207

In 1968 Burroughs joined Jean Genet, John Sack, and Terry Southern in covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention for Esquire magazine. William S. Burroughs_sentence_208

Southern and Burroughs, who had first become acquainted in London, would remain lifelong friends and collaborators. William S. Burroughs_sentence_209

In 1972, Burroughs and Southern unsuccessfully attempted to adapt Naked Lunch for the screen in conjunction with American game-show producer Chuck Barris. William S. Burroughs_sentence_210

Burroughs supported himself and his addiction by publishing pieces in small literary presses. William S. Burroughs_sentence_211

His avant-garde reputation grew internationally as hippies and college students discovered his earlier works. William S. Burroughs_sentence_212

He developed a close friendship with Antony Balch and lived with a young hustler named John Brady who continuously brought home young women despite Burroughs' protestations. William S. Burroughs_sentence_213

In the midst of this personal turmoil, Burroughs managed to complete two works: a novel written in screenplay format, The Last Words of Dutch Schultz (1969); and the traditional prose-format novel The Wild Boys (1971). William S. Burroughs_sentence_214

It was during his time in London that Burroughs began using his "playback" technique in an attempt to place curses on various people and places who had drawn his ire, including the Moka coffee bar and the London HQ of Scientology. William S. Burroughs_sentence_215

Burroughs himself related the Moka coffee bar incident: William S. Burroughs_sentence_216

In the 1960s, Burroughs joined and then left the Church of Scientology. William S. Burroughs_sentence_217

In talking about the experience, he claimed that the techniques and philosophy of Scientology helped him and that he felt that further study of Scientology would produce great results. William S. Burroughs_sentence_218

He was skeptical of the organization itself, and felt that it fostered an environment that did not accept critical discussion. William S. Burroughs_sentence_219

His subsequent critical writings about the church and his review of Inside Scientology by Robert Kaufman led to a battle of letters between Burroughs and Scientology supporters in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. William S. Burroughs_sentence_220

Return to United States William S. Burroughs_section_13

In 1974, concerned about his friend's well-being, Allen Ginsberg gained for Burroughs a contract to teach creative writing at the City College of New York. William S. Burroughs_sentence_221

Burroughs successfully withdrew from heroin use and moved to New York. William S. Burroughs_sentence_222

He eventually found an apartment, affectionately dubbed "The Bunker", on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 222 Bowery. William S. Burroughs_sentence_223

The dwelling was a partially converted YMCA gym, complete with lockers and communal showers. William S. Burroughs_sentence_224

The building fell within New York City rent control policies that made it extremely cheap; it was only about four hundred dollars a month until 1981 when the rent control rules changed, doubling the rent overnight. William S. Burroughs_sentence_225

Burroughs added "teacher" to the list of jobs he did not like, as he lasted only a semester as a professor; he found the students uninteresting and without much creative talent. William S. Burroughs_sentence_226

Although he needed income desperately, he turned down a teaching position at the University at Buffalo for $15,000 a semester. William S. Burroughs_sentence_227

"The teaching gig was a lesson in never again. William S. Burroughs_sentence_228

You were giving out all this energy and nothing was coming back." William S. Burroughs_sentence_229

His savior was the newly arrived twenty-one-year-old bookseller and Beat Generation devotee James Grauerholz, who worked for Burroughs part-time as a secretary as well as in a bookstore. William S. Burroughs_sentence_230

Grauerholz suggested the idea of reading tours. William S. Burroughs_sentence_231

Grauerholz had managed several rock bands in Kansas and took the lead in booking for Burroughs reading tours that would help support him throughout the next two decades. William S. Burroughs_sentence_232

It raised his public profile, eventually aiding in his obtaining new publishing contracts. William S. Burroughs_sentence_233

Through Grauerholz, Burroughs became a monthly columnist for the noted popular culture magazine Crawdaddy, for which he interviewed Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page in 1975. William S. Burroughs_sentence_234

Burroughs decided to relocate back to the United States permanently in 1976. William S. Burroughs_sentence_235

He then began to associate with New York cultural players such as Andy Warhol, John Giorno, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, and Susan Sontag, frequently entertaining them at the Bunker; he also visited venues like CBGB to watch the likes of Patti Smith perform. William S. Burroughs_sentence_236

Throughout early 1977, Burroughs collaborated with Southern and Dennis Hopper on a screen adaptation of Junky. William S. Burroughs_sentence_237

It was reported in The New York Times that Burroughs himself would appear in the film. William S. Burroughs_sentence_238

Financed by a reclusive acquaintance of Burroughs, the project lost traction after financial problems and creative disagreements between Hopper and Burroughs. William S. Burroughs_sentence_239

Organized by Columbia professor Sylvère Lotringer, Giorno, and Grauerholz, the Nova Convention was a multimedia retrospective of Burroughs' work held from November 30 to December 2, 1978, at various locations throughout New York. William S. Burroughs_sentence_240

The event included readings from Southern, Ginsberg, Smith, and Frank Zappa (who filled in at the last minute for Keith Richards, then entangled in a legal problem), in addition to panel discussions with Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson and concerts featuring The B-52's, Suicide, Philip Glass, and Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. William S. Burroughs_sentence_241

In 1976, Burroughs was having dinner with his son, William S. "Billy" Burroughs Jr., and Allen Ginsberg in Boulder, Colorado, at Ginsberg's Buddhist poetry school (Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics) at Chogyam Trungpa's Naropa University when Billy began to vomit blood. William S. Burroughs_sentence_242

Burroughs Sr. had not seen his son for over a year and was alarmed at his appearance when Billy arrived at Ginsberg's apartment. William S. Burroughs_sentence_243

Although Billy had successfully published two short novels in the 1970s and was deemed by literary critics like Ann Charters as a bona fide "second generation beat writer", his brief marriage to a teenage waitress had disintegrated. William S. Burroughs_sentence_244

Billy was a constant drinker, and there were long periods when he was out of contact with any of his family or friends. William S. Burroughs_sentence_245

The diagnosis was liver cirrhosis so complete that the only treatment was a rarely performed liver transplant operation. William S. Burroughs_sentence_246

Fortunately, the University of Colorado Medical Center was one of two places in the nation that performed transplants under the pioneering work of Dr. Thomas Starzl. William S. Burroughs_sentence_247

Billy underwent the procedure and beat the thirty-percent survival odds. William S. Burroughs_sentence_248

His father spent time in 1976 and 1977 in Colorado, helping Billy through additional surgeries and complications. William S. Burroughs_sentence_249

Ted Morgan's biography asserts that their relationship was not spontaneous and lacked real warmth or intimacy. William S. Burroughs_sentence_250

Allen Ginsberg was supportive to both Burroughs and his son throughout the long period of recovery. William S. Burroughs_sentence_251

In London, Burroughs had begun to write what would become the first novel of a trilogy, published as Cities of the Red Night (1981), The Place of Dead Roads (1983), and The Western Lands (1987). William S. Burroughs_sentence_252

Grauerholz helped edit Cities when it was first rejected by Burroughs' long-time editor Dick Seaver at Holt Rinehart, after it was deemed too disjointed. William S. Burroughs_sentence_253

The novel was written as a straight narrative and then chopped up into a more random pattern, leaving the reader to sort through the characters and events. William S. Burroughs_sentence_254

This technique differed from the author's earlier cut-up methods, which were accidental from the start. William S. Burroughs_sentence_255

Nevertheless, the novel was reassembled and published, still without a straight linear form, but with fewer breaks in the story. William S. Burroughs_sentence_256

The trilogy featured time-travel adventures in which Burroughs' narrators rewrote episodes from history to reform mankind. William S. Burroughs_sentence_257

Reviews were mixed for Cities. William S. Burroughs_sentence_258

Novelist and critic Anthony Burgess panned the work in Saturday Review, saying Burroughs was boring readers with repetitive episodes of pederast fantasy and sexual strangulation that lacked any comprehensible world view or theology; other reviewers, like J. William S. Burroughs_sentence_259 G. Ballard, argued that Burroughs was shaping a new literary "mythography". William S. Burroughs_sentence_260

In 1981, Billy Burroughs died in Florida. William S. Burroughs_sentence_261

He had cut off contact with his father several years before, even publishing an article in Esquire magazine claiming his father had poisoned his life and revealing that he had been molested as a fourteen-year-old by one of his father's friends while visiting Tangier. William S. Burroughs_sentence_262

The liver transplant had not cured his urge to drink, and Billy suffered from serious health complications years after the operation. William S. Burroughs_sentence_263

After he had stopped taking his transplant rejection drugs, he was found near the side of a Florida highway by a stranger. William S. Burroughs_sentence_264

He died shortly afterward. William S. Burroughs_sentence_265

Burroughs was in New York when he heard from Allen Ginsberg of Billy's death. William S. Burroughs_sentence_266

Burroughs, by 1979, was once again addicted to heroin. William S. Burroughs_sentence_267

The cheap heroin that was easily purchased outside his door on the Lower East Side "made its way" into his veins, coupled with "gifts" from the overzealous if well-intentioned admirers who frequently visited the Bunker. William S. Burroughs_sentence_268

Although Burroughs would have episodes of being free from heroin, from this point until his death he was regularly addicted to the drug. William S. Burroughs_sentence_269

In an introduction to Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs, James Grauerholz (who managed Burroughs' reading tours in the 1980s and 1990s) mentions that part of his job was to deal with the "underworld" in each city to secure the author's drugs. William S. Burroughs_sentence_270

Later years in Kansas William S. Burroughs_section_14

Burroughs moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1981, taking up residence at 1927 Learnard Avenue where he would spend the rest of his life. William S. Burroughs_sentence_271

He once told a Wichita Eagle reporter that he was content to live in Kansas, saying, "The thing I like about Kansas is that it's not nearly as violent, and it's a helluva lot cheaper. William S. Burroughs_sentence_272

And I can get out in the country and fish and shoot and whatnot." William S. Burroughs_sentence_273

In 1984, he signed a seven-book deal with Viking Press after he signed with literary agent Andrew Wylie. William S. Burroughs_sentence_274

This deal included the publication rights to the unpublished 1952 novel Queer. William S. Burroughs_sentence_275

With this money he purchased a small bungalow for $29,000. William S. Burroughs_sentence_276

He was finally inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983 after several attempts by Allen Ginsberg to get him accepted. William S. Burroughs_sentence_277

He attended the induction ceremony in May 1983. William S. Burroughs_sentence_278

Lawrence Ferlinghetti remarked the induction of Burroughs into the Academy proved Herbert Marcuse's point that capitalistic society had a great ability to incorporate its one-time outsiders. William S. Burroughs_sentence_279

By this point, Burroughs was a counterculture icon. William S. Burroughs_sentence_280

In his final years, he cultivated an entourage of young friends who replaced his aging contemporaries. William S. Burroughs_sentence_281

He inspired 1970s proto-punk rock band Doctors of Madness. William S. Burroughs_sentence_282

In the 1980s he collaborated with performers ranging from Bill Laswell's Material and Laurie Anderson to Throbbing Gristle, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and Ministry, and in Gus Van Sant's 1989 film Drugstore Cowboy, playing a character based on a short story he published in Exterminator! William S. Burroughs_sentence_283 , "The "Priest" They Called Him", featuring a guitar track supplied by Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. William S. Burroughs_sentence_284

Burroughs and R.E.M. William S. Burroughs_sentence_285

collaborated on the song "Star Me Kitten" on the Songs in the Key of X: Music From and Inspired By The X-Files album. William S. Burroughs_sentence_286

A collaboration with musicians Nick Cave and Tom Waits resulted in a collection of short prose, Smack My Crack, later released as a spoken word album in 1987. William S. Burroughs_sentence_287

In 1990, he released the spoken word album Dead City Radio, with musical back-up from producers Hal Willner and Nelson Lyon, and alternative rock band Sonic Youth. William S. Burroughs_sentence_288

He collaborated with Tom Waits and director Robert Wilson on The Black Rider, a play which opened at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg in 1990 to critical acclaim, and that was later performed all over Europe and the U.S. William S. Burroughs_sentence_289

In 1991, with Burroughs' approval, director David Cronenberg adapted Naked Lunch into a feature film, which opened to critical acclaim. William S. Burroughs_sentence_290

During 1982, Burroughs developed a painting technique whereby he created abstract compositions by placing spray paint cans in front of blank surfaces, and then shooting at the paint cans with a shotgun. William S. Burroughs_sentence_291

These splattered and shot panels and canvasses were first exhibited in the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York City in 1987. William S. Burroughs_sentence_292

By this time he had developed a comprehensive visual art practice, using ink, spray paint, collage and unusual things such as mushrooms and plungers to apply the paint. William S. Burroughs_sentence_293

He created file-folder paintings featuring these mediums as well as "automatic calligraphy" inspired by Brion Gysin. William S. Burroughs_sentence_294

He originally used the folders to mix pigments before observing that they could be viewed as art in themselves. William S. Burroughs_sentence_295

He also used many of these painted folders to store manuscripts and correspondence in his personal archive Until his last years, he prolifically created visual art. William S. Burroughs_sentence_296

Burroughs' work has since been featured in more than fifty international galleries and museums including Royal Academy of the Arts, Centre Pompidou, Guggenheim Museum, ZKM Karlsruhe, Sammlung Falckenberg, New Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art. William S. Burroughs_sentence_297

According to Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen, "We hung out at Burroughs's house one time in '93. William S. Burroughs_sentence_298

So he decides to shoot up heroin and he takes out this utility belt full of syringes. William S. Burroughs_sentence_299

Huge, old-fashioned ones from the '50s or something. William S. Burroughs_sentence_300

Now, I have no idea how an 80 year old guy finds a vein, but he knew what he was doing. William S. Burroughs_sentence_301

So we're all laying around high and stuff and then I notice in the pile of mail on the coffee table that there's a letter from the White House. William S. Burroughs_sentence_302

I said 'Hey, this looks important.' William S. Burroughs_sentence_303

and he replies 'Nah, it's probably just junk mail.' William S. Burroughs_sentence_304

Well, I open the letter and it's from President Clinton inviting Burroughs to the White House for a poetry reading. William S. Burroughs_sentence_305

I said 'Wow, do you have any idea how big this is!?' William S. Burroughs_sentence_306

So he says 'What? William S. Burroughs_sentence_307

Who's president nowadays?' William S. Burroughs_sentence_308

and it floored me. William S. Burroughs_sentence_309

He didn't even know who our current president was." William S. Burroughs_sentence_310

In 1990, Burroughs was honored with a star on the St. William S. Burroughs_sentence_311 Louis Walk of Fame. William S. Burroughs_sentence_312

In June 1991, Burroughs underwent triple bypass surgery. William S. Burroughs_sentence_313

He became a member of a chaos magic organization, the Illuminates of Thanateros, in 1993. William S. Burroughs_sentence_314

Burroughs' last filmed performance was in the music video for "Last Night on Earth" by Irish rock band U2, filmed in Kansas City, Missouri, directed by Richie Smyth and also featuring Sophie Dahl. William S. Burroughs_sentence_315

Political beliefs William S. Burroughs_section_15

The only newspaper columnist Burroughs admired was Westbrook Pegler, a right-wing opinion shaper for the William Randolph Hearst newspaper chain. William S. Burroughs_sentence_316

Burroughs believed in frontier individualism, which he championed as "our glorious frontier heritage on minding your own business." William S. Burroughs_sentence_317

Burroughs came to equate liberalism with bureaucratic tyranny, viewing government authority as a collective of meddlesome forces legislating the curtailment of personal freedom. William S. Burroughs_sentence_318

According to his biographer Ted Morgan, his philosophy for living one's life was to adhere to a laissez-faire path, one without encumbrances – in essence a credo shared with the capitalist business world. William S. Burroughs_sentence_319

His abhorrence of the government did not prevent Burroughs from using its programs to his own advantage. William S. Burroughs_sentence_320

In 1949 he enrolled in Mexico City College under the GI Bill, which paid for part of his tuition and books and provided him with a seventy-five-dollar-per-month stipend. William S. Burroughs_sentence_321

He maintained, "I always say, keep your snout in the public trough." William S. Burroughs_sentence_322

Burroughs was a gun enthusiast and owned several shotguns, a Colt .45 and a .38 special. William S. Burroughs_sentence_323

Sonic Youth vocalist Thurston Moore recounted meeting Burroughs: "he had a number of Guns and Ammo magazines laying about, and he was only very interested in talking about shooting and knifing ... William S. Burroughs_sentence_324

I asked him if he had a Beretta and he said: 'Ah, that's a ladies' pocket-purse gun. William S. Burroughs_sentence_325

I like guns that shoot and knives that cut." William S. Burroughs_sentence_326

Hunter S. Thompson gave him a one-of-a-kind .454 caliber pistol. William S. Burroughs_sentence_327

Despite being a fan of a right-wing columnist, many in his entourage such as Genesis P-Orridge and Al Jourgensen are notable for far-left, anti-capitalist, and anti-fascist politics. William S. Burroughs_sentence_328

He was also a fan of the left-wing Dadaist movement. William S. Burroughs_sentence_329

His overall views can generally be seen as anti-establishment, anti-conditioning, and anti-control. William S. Burroughs_sentence_330

Magical beliefs William S. Burroughs_section_16

Burroughs had a longstanding preoccupation with magic and the occult, dating from his earliest childhood, and was insistent throughout his life that we live in a "magical universe". William S. Burroughs_sentence_331

As he himself explained: William S. Burroughs_sentence_332

Or, speaking in the 1970s: William S. Burroughs_sentence_333

This was no idle passing interest – Burroughs also actively practiced magic in his everyday life: seeking out mystical visions through practices like scrying, taking measures to protect himself from possession, and attempting to lay curses on those who had crossed him. William S. Burroughs_sentence_334

Burroughs spoke openly about his magical practices, and his engagement with the occult is attested from a multitude of interviews,{{efn|"I will speak now for magical truth to which I myself subscribe. William S. Burroughs_sentence_335

Magic is the assertion of will, the assumption that nothing happens in this universe (that is to say the minute fraction of the universe we are able to contact) unless some entity wills it to happen." William S. Burroughs_sentence_336

— William S. Burroughs as well as personal accounts from those who knew him. William S. Burroughs_sentence_337

Biographer Ted Morgan has argued that: "As the single most important thing about Graham Greene was his viewpoint as a lapsed Catholic, the single most important thing about Burroughs was his belief in the magical universe. William S. Burroughs_sentence_338

The same impulse that led him to put out curses was, as he saw it, the source of his writing ... To Burroughs behind everyday reality there was the reality of the spirit world, of psychic visitations, of curses, of possession and phantom beings." William S. Burroughs_sentence_339

Burroughs was unwavering in his insistence that his writing itself had a magical purpose. William S. Burroughs_sentence_340

This was particularly true when it came to his use of the cut-up technique. William S. Burroughs_sentence_341

Burroughs was adamant that the technique had a magical function, stating "the cut ups are not for artistic purposes". William S. Burroughs_sentence_342

Burroughs used his cut-ups for "political warfare, scientific research, personal therapy, magical divination, and conjuration" – the essential idea being that the cut-ups allowed the user to "break down the barriers that surround consciousness". William S. Burroughs_sentence_343

As Burroughs himself stated: William S. Burroughs_sentence_344

In the final decade of his life, Burroughs became heavily involved in the chaos magic movement. William S. Burroughs_sentence_345

Burroughs' magical techniques – the cut-up, playback, etc. – had been incorporated into chaos magic by such practitioners as Phil Hine, Dave Lee and Genesis P-Orridge. William S. Burroughs_sentence_346

P-Orridge in particular had known and studied under Burroughs and Brion Gysin for over a decade. William S. Burroughs_sentence_347

This led to Burroughs contributing material to the book Between Spaces: Selected Rituals & Essays From The Archives Of Templum Nigri Solis Through this connection, Burroughs came to personally know many of the leading lights of the chaos magic movement, including Hine, Lee, Peter J. Carroll, Ian Read and Ingrid Fischer, as well as Douglas Grant, head of the North American section of chaos magic group The Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT). William S. Burroughs_sentence_348

Burroughs' involvement with the movement further deepened, as he contributed artwork and other material to chaos magic books, addressed an IOT gathering in Austria, and was eventually fully initiated into The Illuminates of Thanateros. William S. Burroughs_sentence_349

{{efn|"William ... was subsequently initiated into the IOT, by myself and another Frater and Soror. William S. Burroughs_sentence_350

William did not receive an honorary degree, he was put through an evening of ritual that included a Retro Spell Casting Rite, and Invocation of Chaos, and a Santeria Rite, as well as the Neophyte Ritual inducting William into the IOT as a full member ... William S. Burroughs_sentence_351

Though it is not included in the list of items buried with William, James Grauerholz assured me that William was buried with his IOT Initiate ring." William S. Burroughs_sentence_352

— D. Grant (2003) As Burroughs' close friend James Grauerholz states: "William was very serious about his studies in, and initiation into the IOT ... Our longtime friend, Douglas Grant, was a prime mover." William S. Burroughs_sentence_353

Death William S. Burroughs_section_17

Burroughs died August 2, 1997 in Lawrence, Kansas, from complications of a heart attack he had suffered the previous day. William S. Burroughs_sentence_354

He was interred in the family plot in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, with a marker bearing his full name and the epitaph "American Writer". William S. Burroughs_sentence_355

His grave lies to the right of the white granite obelisk of William Seward Burroughs I (1857–1898). William S. Burroughs_sentence_356

Posthumous works William S. Burroughs_section_18

Since 1997, several posthumous collections of Burroughs' work have been published. William S. Burroughs_sentence_357

A few months after his death, a collection of writings spanning his entire career, Word Virus, was published (according to the book's introduction, Burroughs himself approved its contents prior to his death). William S. Burroughs_sentence_358

Aside from numerous previously released pieces, Word Virus also included what was promoted as one of the few surviving fragments of And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, a novel by Burroughs and Kerouac (later published in 2008). William S. Burroughs_sentence_359

A collection of journal entries written during the final months of Burroughs' life was published as the book Last Words in 2000. William S. Burroughs_sentence_360

Publication of a memoir by Burroughs entitled Evil River by Viking Press has been delayed several times; after initially being announced for a 2005 release, online booksellers indicated a 2007 release, complete with an ISBN number (ISBN 0670813516), but it remains unpublished. William S. Burroughs_sentence_361

In December 2007, Ohio State University Press released Everything Lost: The Latin American Journals of William S. Burroughs. William S. Burroughs_sentence_362

Edited by Oliver Harris, the book contains transcriptions of journal entries made by Burroughs during the time of composing Queer and The Yage Letters, with cover art and review information. William S. Burroughs_sentence_363

In addition, restored editions of numerous texts have been published in recent years, all containing additional material and essays on the works. William S. Burroughs_sentence_364

The complete Kerouac/Burroughs manuscript And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks was published for the first time in November 2008. William S. Burroughs_sentence_365

Several of Burroughs early novels, including Junky and Naked Lunch, have been republished in posthumous "Restored Text" editions, incorporating material edited out of previous versions. William S. Burroughs_sentence_366

Literary style and periods William S. Burroughs_section_19

Burroughs' major works can be divided into four different periods. William S. Burroughs_sentence_367

The dates refer to the time of writing, not publication, which in some cases was not until decades later: William S. Burroughs_sentence_368

William S. Burroughs_description_list_0

  • Early work (early 1950s): Junkie, Queer and The Yage Letters are relatively straightforward linear narratives, written in and about Burroughs' time in Mexico City and South America.William S. Burroughs_item_0_0

William S. Burroughs_description_list_1

  • The cut-up period (mid-1950s to mid-1960s): Although published before Burroughs discovered the cut-up technique, Naked Lunch is a fragmentary collection of "routines" from The Word Hoard – manuscripts written in Tangier, Paris, London, as well as of other texts written in South America such as "The Composite City", blending into the cut-up and fold-in fiction also partly drawn from The Word Hoard: The Soft Machine, Nova Express, The Ticket That Exploded, also referred to as "The Nova Trilogy" or "The Cut-Up Trilogy", self-described by Burroughs as an attempt to create "a mythology for the space age". Interzone also derives from the mid-1950s.William S. Burroughs_item_1_1

William S. Burroughs_description_list_2

  • Experiment and subversion (mid-1960s to mid-1970s): This period saw Burroughs continue experimental writing with increased political content and branching into multimedia such as film and sound recording. The only major novel written in this period was The Wild Boys, but he also wrote dozens of published articles, short stories, scrap books and other works, several in collaboration with Brion Gysin. The major anthologies representing work from this period are , The Adding Machine and Exterminator!.William S. Burroughs_item_2_2

William S. Burroughs_description_list_3

Burroughs also produced numerous essays and a large body of autobiographical material, including a book with a detailed account of his own dreams (My Education: A Book of Dreams). William S. Burroughs_sentence_369

Reaction to critics and view on criticism William S. Burroughs_section_20

Several literary critics treated Burroughs' work harshly. William S. Burroughs_sentence_370

For example, Anatole Broyard and Philip Toynbee wrote devastating reviews of some of his most important books. William S. Burroughs_sentence_371

In a short essay entitled "A Review of the Reviewers", Burroughs answers his critics in this way: William S. Burroughs_sentence_372

Burroughs clearly indicates here that he prefers to be evaluated against such criteria over being reviewed based on the reviewer's personal reactions to a certain book. William S. Burroughs_sentence_373

Always a contradictory figure, Burroughs nevertheless criticized Anatole Broyard for reading authorial intent into his works where there is none, which sets him at odds both with New Criticism and the old school as represented by Matthew Arnold. William S. Burroughs_sentence_374

Photography William S. Burroughs_section_21

Burroughs used photography extensively throughout his career, both as a recording medium in planning his writings, and as a significant dimension of his own artistic practice, in which photographs and other images feature as significant elements in cut-ups. William S. Burroughs_sentence_375

With Ian Sommerville, he experimented with photography's potential as a form of memory-device, photographing and rephotographing his own pictures in increasingly complex time-image arrangements. William S. Burroughs_sentence_376

Legacy William S. Burroughs_section_22

Burroughs is often called one of the greatest and most influential writers of the 20th century, most notably by Norman Mailer whose quote on Burroughs, "The only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius", appears on many Burroughs publications. William S. Burroughs_sentence_377

Others consider his concepts and attitude more influential than his prose. William S. Burroughs_sentence_378

Prominent admirers of Burroughs' work have included British critic and biographer Peter Ackroyd, the rock critic Lester Bangs, the philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the authors J. William S. Burroughs_sentence_379 G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Jean Genet, William Gibson, Alan Moore, Kathy Acker and Ken Kesey. William S. Burroughs_sentence_380

Burroughs had an influence on the German writer Carl Weissner, who in addition to being his German translator was a novelist in his own right and frequently wrote cut-up texts in a manner reminiscent of Burroughs. William S. Burroughs_sentence_381

Burroughs continues to be named as an influence by contemporary writers of fiction. William S. Burroughs_sentence_382

Both the New Wave and, especially, the cyberpunk schools of science fiction are indebted to him. William S. Burroughs_sentence_383

Admirers from the late 1970s – early 1980s milieu of this subgenre include William Gibson and John Shirley, to name only two. William S. Burroughs_sentence_384

First published in 1982, the British slipstream fiction magazine Interzone (which later evolved into a more traditional science fiction magazine) paid tribute to him with its choice of name. William S. Burroughs_sentence_385

He is also cited as a major influence by musicians Roger Waters, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Genesis P-Orridge, Ian Curtis, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Tom Waits and Kurt Cobain. William S. Burroughs_sentence_386

Drugs, homosexuality, and death, common among Burroughs' themes, have been taken up by Dennis Cooper, of whom Burroughs said, "Dennis Cooper, God help him, is a born writer". William S. Burroughs_sentence_387

Cooper, in return, wrote, in his essay 'King Junk', "along with Jean Genet, John Rechy, and Ginsberg, [Burroughs] helped make homosexuality seem cool and highbrow, providing gay liberation with a delicious edge". William S. Burroughs_sentence_388

Splatterpunk writer Poppy Z. Brite has frequently referenced this aspect of Burroughs' work. William S. Burroughs_sentence_389

Burroughs' writing continues to be referenced years after his death; for example, a November 2004 episode of the TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation included an evil character named Dr. Benway (named for an amoral physician who appears in a number of Burroughs' works.) William S. Burroughs_sentence_390

This is an echo of the hospital scene in the movie Repo Man, made during Burroughs' life-time, in which both Dr. Benway and Mr. Lee (a Burroughs pen name) are paged. William S. Burroughs_sentence_391

Burroughs had an impact on twentieth-century esotericism and occultism as well, most notably through disciples like Peter Lamborn Wilson and Genesis P-Orridge. William S. Burroughs_sentence_392

Burroughs is also cited by Robert Anton Wilson as the first person to notice the "23 Enigma": William S. Burroughs_sentence_393

Some research suggests that Burroughs is arguably the progenitor of the 2012 phenomenon, a belief of New Age Mayanism that an apocalyptic shift in human consciousness would occur at the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar in 2012. William S. Burroughs_sentence_394

Although never directly focusing on the year 2012 himself, Burroughs had an influence on early 2012 proponents such as Terence McKenna and Jose Argüelles, and as well had written about an apocalyptic shift of human consciousness at the end of the Long Count as early as 1960's The Exterminator. William S. Burroughs_sentence_395

Appearances in media William S. Burroughs_section_23

In music William S. Burroughs_section_24

Burroughs appears on the cover of The Beatles' eighth studio album, Sgt. William S. Burroughs_sentence_396 Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. William S. Burroughs_sentence_397

Burroughs participated on numerous album releases by Giorno Poetry Systems, including The Nova Convention (featuring Frank Zappa, John Cage, and Philip Glass) and You're the Guy I Want to Share My Money With (with John Giorno and Laurie Anderson). William S. Burroughs_sentence_398

He is featured in a spoken word piece entitled "Sharkey's Night" on Laurie Anderson's 1984 album Mister Heartbreak, but the longer version of this track, with additional dialogue from Burroughs, was released only on a promotional 4-track 12" Ep (Warner Bros PRO-A-2123). William S. Burroughs_sentence_399

In addition, Burroughs provided vocal samples for the soundtrack of Anderson's 1986 concert film, Home of the Brave, and made a cameo appearance in it. William S. Burroughs_sentence_400

Burroughs reads a passage from his novel Nova Express during the bridge of the title song from Todd Tamanend Clark's 1984 album Into The Vision, which also features Cheetah Chrome from The Dead Boys on guitar. William S. Burroughs_sentence_401

Bill Laswell's Material collaborated with Burroughs to produce the 1989 album Seven Souls, wherein Burroughs recites passages from his book The Western Lands to musical accompaniment. William S. Burroughs_sentence_402

The album was reissued in 1997 with 3 bonus remixes. William S. Burroughs_sentence_403

In 1998, an additional unreleased six remixes (plus one previously released) were introduced on the album The Road To The Western Lands. William S. Burroughs_sentence_404

Spring Heel Jack's remix of the track '"The Road to the Western Lands" from this album was also included on their Oddities album from 2000. William S. Burroughs_sentence_405

In 1990, Island Records released Dead City Radio, a collection of readings set to a broad range of musical compositions. William S. Burroughs_sentence_406

It was produced by Hal Willner and Nelson Lyon, with musical accompaniment from John Cale, Donald Fagen, Lenny Pickett, Chris Stein, Sonic Youth, and others. William S. Burroughs_sentence_407

The remastered edition of Sonic Youth's album Goo includes a longer version of "Dr. Benway's House", which had appeared, in shorter form, on Dead City Radio. William S. Burroughs_sentence_408

In 1992 he recorded "Quick Fix" with Ministry, which appeared on their single for "Just One Fix". William S. Burroughs_sentence_409

The single featured cover art by Burroughs and a remix of the song dubbed the "W.S.B. William S. Burroughs_sentence_410

mix". William S. Burroughs_sentence_411

Burroughs also made an appearance in the video for "Just One Fix". William S. Burroughs_sentence_412

The same year he also recorded the EP The "Priest" They Called Him; Burroughs reads the short story of the same name, while Kurt Cobain creates layers of guitar feedback and distortion. William S. Burroughs_sentence_413

Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic is featured on the cover as the titular "Priest". William S. Burroughs_sentence_414

The track on the 13th Ministry album "Thanx but No Thanx" makes use of William S. Burroughs' poem "A Thanksgiving Prayer", as read by Sgt. Major. William S. Burroughs_sentence_415

In 1992 Burroughs worked with The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy on Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales, with the duo providing musical background and accompaniment to Burroughs' spoken readings from several of his books. William S. Burroughs_sentence_416

A 12" EP was released with five different remixes of the Spare Ass Annie track "Words of Advice for Young People", all done by Bill Laswell. William S. Burroughs_sentence_417

Burroughs appears on two songs from Technodon, the 1993 reunion album by the Japanese electronic group Yellow Magic Orchestra. William S. Burroughs_sentence_418

The opening track, "Be a Superman", begins with a sample of Burroughs proclaiming, "Be a man! William S. Burroughs_sentence_419

Be a human animal... be a superman! William S. Burroughs_sentence_420

Be a superman." William S. Burroughs_sentence_421

The latter part of the sample reappears throughout. William S. Burroughs_sentence_422

"I Tre Merli" features a longer reading taken from The Job. William S. Burroughs_sentence_423

Burroughs recites the lyrics of R.E.M. William S. Burroughs_sentence_424 's "Star Me Kitten" for a special version of the song on the soundtrack. William S. Burroughs_sentence_425

Burroughs appears near the end of U2's music video "Last Night on Earth", pushing a shopping cart with a large spotlight positioned inside it. William S. Burroughs_sentence_426

The video ends with a close up of his eyes. William S. Burroughs_sentence_427

Burroughs is featured on the 2000 compilation tribute album, Stoned Immaculate, on the track "Is Everybody In?" William S. Burroughs_sentence_428

which pairs Jim Morrison yelping and groaning with Burroughs reading Morrison's poetry. William S. Burroughs_sentence_429

The music was recorded by the surviving Doors members in 2000 specifically for this album. William S. Burroughs_sentence_430

A Burroughs quote from a visualisation exercise called 'Take Nirvana' was used by director Shane Meadows in the final scene of The Stone Roses' 2013 concert DVD, Made of Stone. William S. Burroughs_sentence_431

Band names William S. Burroughs_section_25

Numerous bands have found their names in Burroughs' work. William S. Burroughs_sentence_432

The most widely known of these is Steely Dan, a group named after a dildo in Naked Lunch. William S. Burroughs_sentence_433

Also from Naked Lunch came the names Clarknova, The Mugwumps and The Insect Trust. William S. Burroughs_sentence_434

The novel Nova Express inspired the names of Grant Hart's post-Hüsker Dü band Nova Mob, as well as Australian 1960s R&B band Nova Express. William S. Burroughs_sentence_435

British band Soft Machine took its moniker from the Burroughs novel of the same name. William S. Burroughs_sentence_436

Alt-country band Clem Snide is named for a Burroughs character. William S. Burroughs_sentence_437

Thin White Rope took their name from Burroughs' euphemism for ejaculation. William S. Burroughs_sentence_438

The American extreme metal band Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky took their name from the 1989 text "Apocalypse", in which Burroughs describes "art and creative expression taking a literal and physical form". William S. Burroughs_sentence_439

In film and television William S. Burroughs_section_26

Burroughs played Opium Jones in the 1966 Conrad Rooks cult film Chappaqua, which also featured cameo roles by Allen Ginsberg, Moondog, and others. William S. Burroughs_sentence_440

In 1968, an abbreviated – 77 minutes as opposed to the original's 104 minute – version of Benjamin Christensen's 1922 film Häxan was released, subtitled Witchcraft Through The Ages. William S. Burroughs_sentence_441

This version, produced by Antony Balch, featured an eclectic jazz score by Daniel Humair and expressionist narration by Burroughs. William S. Burroughs_sentence_442

He also appeared alongside Brion Gysin in a number of short films in the 1960s directed by Balch. William S. Burroughs_sentence_443

Jack Sargeant's book Naked Lens: Beat Cinema details Burroughs' film work at length, covering his collaborations with Balch and Burroughs' theories of film. William S. Burroughs_sentence_444

Burroughs narrated part of the 1980 documentary Shamans of the Blind Country by anthropologist and filmmaker Michael Oppitz. William S. Burroughs_sentence_445

He gave a reading on Saturday Night Live on November 7, 1981, in an episode hosted by Lauren Hutton. William S. Burroughs_sentence_446

In 1983 director Howard Brookner released Burroughs: the Movie. William S. Burroughs_sentence_447

The film is perhaps the definitive account of Burroughs' life, and Brookner and Burroughs maintained a very close collaboration during the shooting process. William S. Burroughs_sentence_448

The film features interviews with many of Burroughs' friends and collaborators including Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Francis Bacon, Herbert Huncke, Patti Smith and Terry Southern. William S. Burroughs_sentence_449

Burroughs subsequently made cameo appearances in a number of other films and videos, such as David Blair's Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, an elliptic story about the first Gulf War in which Burroughs plays a beekeeper, and Decoder by Klaus Maeck. William S. Burroughs_sentence_450

He played an aging junkie priest in Gus Van Sant's 1989 film Drugstore Cowboy. William S. Burroughs_sentence_451

He also appears briefly at the beginning of Van Sant's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (based on the Tom Robbins novel), in which he is seen crossing a city street; as the noise of the city rises around him he pauses in the middle of the intersection and speaks the single word "ominous". William S. Burroughs_sentence_452

Van Sant's short film "Thanksgiving Prayer" features Burroughs reading the poem "Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986", from Tornado Alley, intercut with a collage of black and white images. William S. Burroughs_sentence_453

Burroughs was portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland in the 2000 film Beat, written and directed by Gary Walkow. William S. Burroughs_sentence_454

Loosely biographical, the plot involves a car trip to Mexico City with Vollmer, Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Lucien Carr, and includes a scene of Vollmer's shooting. William S. Burroughs_sentence_455

Burroughs is portrayed by Ben Foster in the 2013 film Kill Your Darlings, directed by John Krokidas and written by Krokidas and Austin Bunn. William S. Burroughs_sentence_456

The film tells the story of Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) and David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), with appearances by actors playing Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) and Kerouac (Jack Huston). William S. Burroughs_sentence_457

Near the end of his life, recordings of Burroughs reading his short stories "A Junky's Christmas" and "Ah Pook is Here" were used on the soundtracks of two highly acclaimed animated films. William S. Burroughs_sentence_458

Filmmakers Lars Movin and Steen Moller Rasmussen used footage of Burroughs taken during a 1983 tour of Scandinavia in the documentary Words of Advice: William S. Burroughs on the Road. William S. Burroughs_sentence_459

A 2010 documentary, William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, was made for Independent Lens on PBS. William S. Burroughs_sentence_460

Good Will Hunting (released in December 1997) was dedicated to Burroughs, as well as Ginsberg, who died four months earlier. William S. Burroughs_sentence_461

Burroughs was played by Viggo Mortensen as the character 'Old Bill Lee' from Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road in the 2012 movie adaptation of the novel, On the Road (2012 film) William S. Burroughs_sentence_462

As a fictional character William S. Burroughs_section_27

Burroughs was fictionalized in Jack Kerouac's autobiographical novel On the Road as "Old Bull Lee". William S. Burroughs_sentence_463

He also makes an appearance in J. William S. Burroughs_sentence_464 G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical 1991 novel The Kindness of Women. William S. Burroughs_sentence_465

In the 2004 novel Move Under Ground, Burroughs, Kerouac, and Neal Cassady team up to defeat Cthulhu. William S. Burroughs_sentence_466

Burroughs appears in the first part of The Illuminatus! William S. Burroughs_sentence_467 Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson during the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots and is described as a person devoid of anger, passion, indignation, hope, or any other recognizable human emotion. William S. Burroughs_sentence_468

He is presented as a polar opposite of Allen Ginsberg, as Ginsberg believed in everything and Burroughs believed in nothing. William S. Burroughs_sentence_469

Wilson would recount in his Cosmic Trigger II: Down to Earth having interviewed both Burroughs and Ginsberg for Playboy the day the riots began, as well as his experiences with Shea during the riots, providing details on the creation of the fictional sequence. William S. Burroughs_sentence_470

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William S. Burroughs.