William S. Burroughs Quote on Change
Novelist, essayist, poet, performance artist, cultural icon and founding member of the Beats, William S. Burroughs was legendary in his own lifetime and his work continues to grow in popularity. The word “colorful” hardly seems big enough to describe Burroughs’ life: prison stints, the accidental killing of his wife while re-enacting the apple scene from “William Tell” and morphine addiction are some of the highlights. Throughout, however, his writing talents remained intact and his work continues to appeal to generation after generation of readers. A hero to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, Burroughs’ work remains grittily timeless.
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Since its original publication in Paris in 1959, Naked Lunch has become one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. Exerting its influence on the relationship of art and obscenity, it is one of the books that redefined not just literature but American culture.
Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life. In his debut novel, Junky, Burroughs fictionalized his experiences using and peddling heroin and other drugs in the 1950s into a work that reads like a field report from the underworld of post-war America.
For more than three decades, while its writer’s world fame increased, Queer remained unpublished because of its forthright depiction of homosexual longings.
With a new preface as well as a final chapter on William S. Burroughs’s last years, the acclaimed Literary Outlaw is the only existing full biography of an extraordinary figure. Anarchist, heroin addict, alcoholic, and brilliant writer, Burroughs was the patron saint of the Beats. His avant-garde masterpiece Naked Lunch shook up the literary world with its graphic descriptions of drug abuse and illicit sex—and resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling on obscenity.