In the 1930’s, William S. Burroughs spent a good four years in our beautiful city of Boston.
Bookforum recently reviewed Barry Miles’ biography of the author, titled Call Me Burroughs: A Life. Here is an extract:
William S. Burroughs lived the kind of life few contemporary American novelists seek to emulate. A roll call of his sins: He was a queer and a junkie before being either was hip; he was a deadbeat father and an absent son; he was a misogynist, a gun lover, and a drunk; he was a guru of junk science and crank religion; he haunted the most sinister dregs of Mexico City, Tangier, Paris, London, and New York; he was an avant-garde writer with little affection for plot and none at all for epiphany; he wore his Americanness like a colostomy bag, shameful but essential. When he died at age 83 in 1997, his last words were: “Be back in no time.” At least he wasn’t a liar.
Also, a valuable film is David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch, based on Burroughs’ novel of the same name. The trailer:
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