William Burroughs (4 Viewers)

have decided to not scan but just photograph them, since it's faster and thus enables me to post a larger amount at a time.

Don't know, if these pics are commonly known anyway. If so, delete the overrun. If not: enjoy.

Thanks a lot, Roni! I have´nt seen any of them before except for two or three. That's some great Burroughs photo book you´ve got.

Anybody picked this up yet or plan to?

I´ve just ordered it from Amazon (Barry Miles: "Call Me Burroughs") and judging from the reviews in various papers and on Amazon, and from the many preview pages on Amazon, it's a real treat. It's a brick of a book too, 736 pages. I see it was released on Jan. 28. What a nice way to celebrate Burroughs´ 100th birthday (Feb.5). I´ll bet we´ll see many books, etc. on Burroughs this year.
I liked the Red Night trilogy a lot.

Cities of the Red Night
The Place of Dead Roads
The Western Lands

I've always loved the Red Night trilogy. I found the Western Lands to be a little slow and dry, but I think both Cities and Dead Roads show a very developed, mature side to Burroughs.
I stumbled over a site about the Burroughs/Gysin "Dream Machine" for meditation that explains how it works (something about alfa-beta-theta waves), but not only that, it also links to a page on the site with an online dream machine you can watch and use for meditation. It turns the site into a blinking screen using the right alfa-beta-theta waves. You can even decide the speed and which colors you want to use. Does it work? I have´nt the faintest idea, but it might be worth trying out.

Here's the link to the site:


And here's the link to the dream machine:

There was a Burroughs exhibition at LACMA in 1994 (I think) and they had a full-sized, operating dream machine there. You could sit inside this circular kiosk while it turned. It wasn't the original machine but a replica.
That's pretty cool if it worked as Gysin and Burroughs intended. Maybe I should try one one day. Who knows, maybe Gysin and Burroughs were onto something useful in the meditation department.
There was a Burroughs exhibition at LACMA in 1994 (I think) and they had a full-sized, operating dream machine there. You could sit inside this circular kiosk while it turned. It wasn't the original machine but a replica.
I saw a dream machine at an exhibition in Namur (BE). Didn't do anything for me but quite fun.... Again that was a replica. Perhaps I needed one with some of that old Gysin magic dust on it.
I have a question - do you want me to come over and shit all over your forum?

If not, stop being an asshole on this one.
I have a question - do you want me to come over and shit all over your forum?
If you want, sure. Since when did expressing an opinion constitute shitting on a forum? I give up. Plus your attitude stinks. Hopefully you have a moderator or two who can save you from yourself.
Maybe stop posting when you're drinking, because you're an ugly drunk. And you are shitting all over the forum and while I have no problem with your opinion, you're spouting it like an asshole, and I have a problem with assholes.
Full of horse manure? That's what I call a well researched sholarly opinion one can hardly argue against. :rolleyes:
What a great idea to go to a thread about Burroughs and write the Beats were full of horse manure. If I did´nt know any better I would think it was meant as a provocation. How about going to a forum about The Beatles and say the same thing, but that would be trolling, right?
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The video above reminds me of a passage in the Bukowski biography by Howard Sounes:

Of the beat writers only William Burroughs had given him the cold shoulder, snubbing him at a reading, which was ironic because Burroughs was the only one he admired. Bukowski muttered about going outside and fighting him.
'I could push him over with one punch,' he told Harold Norse, who knew them both.
'Yeah, but you'd be dead,' said Norse. 'He'd shoot you.'
Do you think Burroughs "JUNKY" is good reading for a young person? However cool my method of discovering Bukowski was, discovering Burroughs was a fantastic story. I was over for an advisory supper, a freshman in high school, at my advisor's house. He was a hippy type, and living with another hippy type science teacher, probably bangin her. I was looking at their bookshelf and I saw Naked Lunch. I started reading it out loud to my advisory, not knowing what it was.
I couldn't get into 'Naked Lunch', but love 'Junky' and 'Yage Letters'. The best way to experience 'Junky', for me, is listening to the man himself read it out. His voice is the only voice for reading 'Junky'. Pure mesmerism.

You guys probably know about this one already, but here's a great biography:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/William-S-Burroughs-Barry-Miles/dp/0297867253/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409748967&sr=1-1&keywords=william s burroughs barry miles
Naked Lunch is pretty weird and it's not exactly a novel, but a collection of stories which are not connected to each other. A few of them are funny and others not so much.
I like "Junky" and "Interzone". They're both written in straight narrative and easy to read.

The new Burroughs biography by Barry Miles is pretty good and very detailed. It's a must for serious fans of Burroughs and even if you're not a fan it's still very entertaining.
Your response reminded me of something Burroughs said about 'Naked Lunch' - that you can dip into it at any stage in the book, that it's not intentionally written to be read from cover to cover. Interesting approach.

I never thought much of his cut-ups being published into books, but I do find the technique useful for developing creative writing.
Right, I´ve read the bit about "you can dip into it at any stage in the book" too. Instead of publishing it as a novel, it should have been published as a collection of stories, I think. No wonder, people find it difficult to read if they think it's a novel since there's no connection between the chapters .

I never cared for his cut-up texts. Actually, I find it a bit silly to cut and paste more or less random words together. It's an interesting experiment, but the result is hardly a new work of literature.
You could say it's a way of recycling other people's words and I understand recycling is very popular nowadays. :p
I read somewhere that the band Wilco tried something in that tradition when working on the lyrics for many of the songs that ended up on their "Summerteeth" record. They took a typewriter and covered the sheet of paper so you could only read the line you were typing. Then the next person would jump in and write their line, etc. In order to make any kind of sense or make any of the lyrics interesting at all they then edited the "lyrics". Just an experiment, but a similarly inspired idea. Good record of folk-rock/pop-rock.
William S. Burroughs on heroin addiction. Love the little laugh when the talk show host asks him about his "soul" at 0:50 :DD
Nice video Johannes, but Burroughs is wrong about Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821) he doesn't promote opiates as beneficial to health, he describes a tortuous descent into addiction with it, both physical and mental. Most of the Romantic Poets also experimented with it - not illegal then. Yes he lived quite a long time, but his addiction overshadowed it, many times.
I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but after rereading Junky and Queer it seems pretty obvious that Burroughs was a total misanthrope. It's a kick reading Burroughs hate on 'fags' as subhumans even as his character repeatedly hangs around gay bars.

Bukowski looks like Mr. Rogers compared to Old Bull Lee.
Yes, but Junky and Queer are literary works. The misanthropy therein must not be confused with the authors emotional and/or mental state. There is a lot of misanthropy in Burroughs and Bukowskis work, no doubt. At least, what you would commonly call "misanthropy" at first glance.

Yet you can hardly call both authors (in person, that is) raging man-haters or something like that. More than anything they seem to be disappointed and hurt individuals, not fitting into their surroundings and responding to this with their literature, almost always mixing an hilarious sense of humor with their "misanthropy", both.

The distinction fag/queer also appears in Burroughs letters. For him it obviously was the distinction between some "wimpy screeching weakling" (fag) and some "manly straighforward homosexual" (queer). At least that's how he describes it himself in a letter to Allen Ginsberg, where he refuses to be called "Fag" but prefers "Queer" for this reasons.
True, one should distinguish between a book and its author.

As for Burroughs, he was also confused about his sexuality because in some of his letters he talks about his lust for boys while in other letters he wants to "switch to cunt" because he thinks being gay is a disease.
Good points.

The only thing I'd add is that Burroughs appears much less sympathetic to his characters than most. Even Bukowski and Celine show characters with rare moments of humanity. Does that make sense?
I guess it does. I think it may have to do with the kind of people he mingled with (the people in "Junky" and Allerton in "Queer" who will only have sex with Burroughs once a week to Burroughs dismay). Also, "Junky" is written very matter-of-fact-ly, almost like a report written from a distance. In such report-like books there's seldom room for feelings.
Currently reading You Can't Win and apparently it was very influential to Burroughs, to the extent he used lots of the material from it in Junkie.
I have´nt read "You Can't Win", but I would like to since it was a big influence on Burroughs, at least when he was younger.
Good point, 'Skygazer', I remember coming away feeling depressed after reading De Quincey's book. Quite dark, I remember.

On the Romantic poets, I'm pretty sure that Coleridge was addicted to opium through his laudanum intake.

I'll check out that game, 'Dark Eye', 'zobraks' - sounds great! Is there a site somewhere where one can listen to his reading of Poe's short story?

'You Can't Win' is a good read, endorsed by Burroughs. I also love Bukowski's endorsements of John Fante and, above everything else, Celine's brilliant work: 'Journey to the End of the Night'. If any book blew me away, it was that one!

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