Giveaway

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Is anyone interested in Ted Morgan’s biography of William S. Burroughs? “Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs”.

Pick a number between 0-333, closest one gets it. Will mail out around the 15. It is attractive, and also large enough to be informative to most, and if that fails, it is definitely weaponizable.

Bought the physical copy of the book, turns out I’ve had the ebook since the beginning of the year….sigh…

The bookstore in the mall across from where I work is tiny, but amazing. HP Lovecraft, R. Crumb, William S. Burroughs, books on spirituality …clearly whoever buys books for this place is a soulmate of mine in some capacity.

Is anyone doing the book challenge on GoodReads? Turns out your books don’t count for the challenge unless you have the date you finished reading them set. I’m actually at 65 books, which is nice to know, and a lot better than trying to get through ten in a panic.

Otherwise, I am now the proud owner of a Chromebook and a internet connection.

Emit a thick cloud of love like an octopus squirts out ink

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It was a wise old queen—Bobo, we called her—who taught me that I had a duty to live and to bear my burden proudly for all to see, to conquer prejudice and ignorance and hate with knowledge and sincerity and love. Whenever you are threatened by a hostile presence, you emit a thick cloud of love like an octopus squirts out ink . . .

-William S. Burroughs

Judgment day; or William S. Burroughs is Life

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“Lee on junk is covered, protected and also severely limited. Not only does junk short-circuit the sex drive, it also blunts emotional reactions to the vanishing point, depending on the dosage. Looking back over the action of Queer, that hallucinated month of acute withdrawal takes on a hellish glow of menace and evil drifting out of neon-lit cocktail bars, the ugly violence, the .45 always just under the surface. On junk I was insulated, didn’t drink, didn’t go out much, just shot up and waited for the next shot. When the cover is removed, everything that has been held in check by junk spills out. The withdrawing addict is subject to the emotional excesses of a child or an adolescent, regardless of his actual age. And the sex drive returns in full force. Men of sixty experience wet dreams and spontaneous orgasms (an extremely unpleasant experience, agaçant as the French say, putting the teeth on edge). Unless the reader keeps this in mind, the metamorphosis of Lee’s character will appear as inexplicable or psychotic. Also bear in mind that the withdrawal syndrome is self-limiting, lasting no more than a month. And Lee has a phase of excessive drinking, which exacerbates all the worst and most dangerous aspects of the withdrawal sickness: reckless, unseemly, outrageous, maudlin—in a word, appalling—behavior

― William S. Burroughs, “Junky”

 

If teenage me saw this cover for the book “Junky” by William S. Burroughs, I’d buy in a second. As an adult, I feel like the name and cover is a little exploitative – I’d  pick it up, though, and read the back. It’s an autobiographical novel, with some of Burroughs’ later themes and weirdness built in.

As an adult, I’m less interested in the blatant drug use than how he sees people and his views on the world – I can see where and how this book impacted my development… I’m surprised I’m not more amoral than I am…was? The main character is your typical anti-hero, and no one in this book even has a full set of morals.

This book does warn against the behavior associated with drug use. There’s promiscuity, theft, and terrible people. At one point, he steals drunks’ wallets off of a train. Then, he goes into detail about when a man caught up to him and Burroughs kicked him in the ribs… no part of this book makes the lifestyle around drug use seem beautiful or tempting. Rather, he describes the experience of the drug, but all the warnings about the pain of kicking and having to keep an irregular and a temporary style of life are flagrant.

He’s moving back and forth between St. Louis, Mexico, and other places, and ends up kicking at Riker’s. What in the name of life made drug use seem appealing as a teenager/pre-teen? I must have viewed life itself as something terrible and saw drug use as the only escape.

 

Ghostwriter

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If I could choose any author to write my life story, I would choose William S. Burroughs. He knew the twisted psyche of an addict better than most. He understood the dark world I existed in, and would write from a place of understanding.

Second, his talent was painting with words – he used the cut-up technique, so sometimes his words didn’t make literal sense, but created an expressive world of sensations, thoughts, and feelings.

Third, his bitter, biting humor. A lot in my life is funny, but you need a dark and somewhat twisted sense of humor to understand. I went into most of my romances hoping we would build each other up, or wanting to save the other person… it goes in the opposite direction.

WHY SO STUPID, ME?

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I’m reading a collection of William S. Burroughs work… I understand the appeal of his vision and dark humor – teenage me had GREAT taste, but my judgment was/is terrible. WSB’s attitude toward drug use, in a nutshell, is: “Yeah, it’s interesting, until you have to associate with people with no morals, end up doing terrible things, and ALSO WITHDRAWAL IS TERRIBLE, DON’T DO IT.” I must have assumed life would always be terrible. Also, I’d always be an outsider, so why not be a high one in a trench coat observing the world going to hell while maintaining a semblance of class?

I am best described as a woman who once stuck her finger in a light socket out of pure curiosity (I was five, so um… does that make it better or worse?).

Also, I need to take over two classes next semester, I am going insane with boredom…