William S. Burroughs: the Erratic Father to the Beatnick Generation

William S. Burroughs, born in 1914 in St Louis. Burroughs was an American writer of experimental novels that evoke, in deliberately, erratic, prose, a nightmarish, sometimes wildly humorous world.

William S. Burroughs was a Beat Generation writer known for his startling, nontraditional accounts of drug culture, most famously in the book ‘Naked Lunch.
 
His #sexual explicitness and the frankness with which he dealt with his experiences as a drug addict won him a following among writers of the Beat movement.

30 years after the publication of “Naked Lunch,” the book gets turned into a film by Hollywood in 1991.

Later in life, William S. Burroughs travels to New York and meet writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac in the mid-1940s. The three are heralded as starting the Beat Movement, an artistic outpouring of nontraditional, free expression. If you are enjoying this article, we have similar content about other great literay writers, here.


William S. Burroughs Quotes

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. ”

William S. Burroughs on the set of “Naked Lunch”

“There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.”

“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.”

“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.”

“Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside.”

“Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape. ”

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“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. A psychotic is a guy who’s just found out what’s going on.”

Art inspired by William S. Burroughs

“Whether you sniff it, smoke it, eat it, or shove it up your ass, the result is the same: addiction.”

“You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative”

“Love is a haunting melody that I have never mastered, and I fear I never will.”

“In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.”

“Never do business with a religious son-of-a-bitch. His word ain’t worth a shit — not with the Good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”


During the mid-1940s, Burroughs and Kerouac collaborated on a novel about the murder of a friend—And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks—that was published decades later posthumously. Burroughs developed a relationship with Joan Vollmer during this time as well and they would live together as husband and wife starting in 1945. He was also open about his attraction to men, and he and Ginsberg had been lovers.

William S. Burroughs died in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1997.

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