Burroughs is gone but clearly not forgotten. He's already obviously achieved a sort of immortality as a myth, a man, a catalyst and a legend in and beyond his own time.William Seward Burroughs
Please share your thoughts, feelings and stories about William S. Burroughs
and what his work meant to you.
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a very sad heartfelt goodbye to the master of all pus. uncle bill, as you cross the duad, please be aware of how much you were loved in this life, by your fans,friends,and other artists. your impact on my life/art was/is immeasureable. i think in death your impact and influence will only grow stronger and more pervasive.your dead fingers will talk 4 ever.thank you for gracing our sad little planet, making some of us more iluminated through your art and giving the gift of laughter. please storm the gates of of where ever u are and when that asshole obit writer from the la times gets there please shoot a glass off his head. godspeed,R.I.P. "no more...no mas..."
buena park, ca usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 23:56:43 (EDT)
"The rainbow jockstrap"
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 23:40:15 (EDT)
the men who made me feel less alone are dying...i feel like i will decay right along with them. burrough's helped me find out how i was normal, it a strange way. Naked Lunch hit me like nothing (except maybe allen's america and leaves of grass) have. part of my mind goes with him: may you find your peace far from earth.
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 23:22:35 (EDT)
Cambridge, NY USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 22:28:21 (EDT)
A little bit o chaos left the world this week, formalism will reign again over all of us!!
Holmes Beach, fl usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 22:04:15 (EDT)
Wernamo, Sweden - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 20:58:18 (EDT)
Hail and farewell...El Hombre Invisible pulling his final disappearing act on us all...daddy of so many artists, talented and otherwise, whether they'd ever admit it or not(Mr.Reznor, white discourtesy telephone please)...one thing that should not be forgotten in all this tribute; not only was WSB a great chronicler of human depravity, both outward and inward, but that he could make such things laughable especially in his many public readings...a great writer, a great thinker...my only regret is the dwelling of the mainstream media( my local SF Chron, f'r instance) on the relativelyminimal time spent as a junk addict...'legendary junkie',they wrote, despite him having only been one for 15 of his 83 years...screw that. Legendary period. I'd wish you Goidspeed, Bill, bu you always said the only key churches had were the one to the shithouse, so i'll just say thanks and see you on the other side...
San Francisco, Ca USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 20:33:59 (EDT)
I cannot really articulate my feelings towards
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 19:43:57 (EDT)
The invisible generation,or generation X as we might be called, celebrate the departure of William S.Burroughs for the Western Lands.
Melb., Australia - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 19:39:56 (EDT)
I see you flying - an eagle disappearing in the clouds. Today we have hail in NYC and the loudest bolts of lightening ever to come here. This is you leaving.
New York City, - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 19:25:37 (EDT)
Apres le dernier mot de Dutch Schultz, le stenographe de
Manchester, UK - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 18:19:11 (EDT)
Descanse en paz, señor Burroughs... descanse su cuerpo, su mente jamás...
Mexico - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 17:51:37 (EDT)
I found out a couple of days ago that Mr. Burroughs had died. I am not what people consider a fan, but I did read his book "Naked Lunch" by
Mexico - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 17:46:16 (EDT)
I gave naked lunch to the most obnoxious and disgusting person i knew. he was trying to be more literary. a few weeks later i heard through a mutual friend that he called it disgusting, pronounced that he could not read such trash and threw it away. made me proud. goodbye.
Chicago, IL - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 17:45:48 (EDT)
Well, I usually read the newspaper when I first wake up in
Stratford, CT USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 17:28:41 (EDT)
I never thought it would happen. But I guess that all good things come to an evolution.
Santa Cruz, Ca USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 17:23:56 (EDT)
I first met Bill in Santa Fe. I had become separated from my group of travelers and was standing behind the gallery where he had just finished doing a reading. I was smoking a pipeful of opium and saw him getting into his car alone so I joined him. I got to shake the hand of a brilliant man and will carry that to my own grave with a smile both on my face & in my heart. I loved Bill.
Interzone, KS Interzone - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 17:22:40 (EDT)
when i heard that bill was gone, i was incredibly saddened. i have been readiing burroughs' stuff for the past 3 years, & have enjoyed his works immensly, it is my hope that bills' work, & life will not be forgotten, & that people will continue to go on forays into the convoluted and macbre universe that is william seward burroughs' work. the beat generation were a group of men that defied the confines of conformity of the mid 20th century, they were the continuation of the quest for individuality and expression that people like henry miller worked all thier lives for. burroughs fans, unite and never let bills' memory fade.
murfreesboro, tn usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 17:19:15 (EDT)
burroughs said "a writer has no secrets."
Mountain View , CA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 17:13:07 (EDT)
WOW WHAT A LIFE!!!
London, UK - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 16:47:01 (EDT)
Rome, it ITALY - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 16:39:22 (EDT)
Thunder Bay, ON Canada - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 16:38:10 (EDT)
Thunder Bay, ON Canada - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 16:38:00 (EDT)
"KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- William S. Burroughs, the stone-faced godfather of the 'Beat generation' whose experimental novel Naked Lunch unleashed an underground world that defied narration, died yesterday. He was 83."
xxx, xx xxxxx - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 16:29:24 (EDT)
Did I ever tell you about the man who taught this asshole to think? When I first heard of Burroughs, I was probably in seventh grade. His writing blew me away. There's not really much more to say but goodbye. I'll miss you.
Lakewood, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 16:29:11 (EDT)
For forty years through novels, poetry, films, biographies, |
autobiograhpies, collected letters, and occasional book
signings, I have felt a kinship to Jack, Neal, Allan,
Herbert and Bill. Now they are all gone and I feel so
Germantown, Mmd usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 15:54:45 (EDT)
I'm not a writer, nor do I pretend to be one.
Simi Valley, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 15:44:08 (EDT)
He would speak
Portland, OR USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 15:42:54 (EDT)
It's nice to know you can fuck around nearly your whole life and still live to a ripe old age. Not only that but also keep your brain in reasonably good working order. Way to go Bill. I wish ah coulda shoulda beena a lot like you.
san antonio, tx usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 15:33:05 (EDT)
never before has someone awakened so much in me that i
fairless hills, pa u$a - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 15:24:43 (EDT)
FOR BILL BURROUGHS RIP
San Francisco, CA 94110 - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 14:30:33 (EDT)
Well, my favorite is "The Yage Letters", among other things Burroughs was a good reporter and a very funny one too. His misanthropy is mostly entertaining and the sentimental story about Billy Bradshinkel is very moving. Great artists died this year: Allen Ginsberg, Jeff Buckley, and now Bill Burroughs. They will be missed.
Stockholm, Sweden - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 14:10:53 (EDT)
I used to see William Burroughs when I was staying at the Beat Hotel on Rue Gît-le-Coeur in Paris around 1960. He was a real inspiration to the younger generation -- of artists, poets, anarchists. I'll miss him
Brooklyn, NY USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 14:07:21 (EDT)
Thanks for ripping the shade from the window.
Union Lake, Mi. amorika - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 13:54:24 (EDT)
Nova Heat Movin On
Alameda, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 13:42:26 (EDT)
Goodbye and good luck. Know that if you were the first
battle creek, mi usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:41:13 (EDT)
Sand Yiego, Ca USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:40:51 (EDT)
Burroughs was one of the best writers in American history. He was able to say FUCK YOU!!, in the face of any one who said no to him. The fact that he lived to be 83 was to me his own choice and since the death of Allen, he realized it was time to go now since he had now out lived nearly every one he was every associated with from Jack Kerouac to Kurt Kobain. The fact he was able to quit scag is just one of the many things that proves how powerful he truly was. I know what its like quitting that shit. Its like he said in "Junky" ; "Junk isn't for kicks, its a way of life". A very true statement. But now he's reunited with Joan.
Dillsburg, Pa Amerika - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:28:35 (EDT)
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:22:05 (EDT)
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:21:14 (EDT)
Thank you William, for all you have done. You have inspired me through your writings, and touched my soul with your ideas. May God be with you.
SanBruno, Ca usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:20:21 (EDT)
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:20:06 (EDT)
Never read the cat, but I dug his glasses!
Huntington Beach, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:14:43 (EDT)
I first read Dr. Bill while attending college -- 1966.
Whites Creek, TN USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 12:12:46 (EDT)
A gaunt, skeletal-like spectre transfixes us "college
Austin, TX USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 11:30:39 (EDT)
I remember first reading 'Naked Lunch' back in high school
Parma, OH - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 10:44:27 (EDT)
I had the opportunity to meet William Burrough several times in the late 70's and 80's, and to stay in his New York City apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan. My brother directed "BURROUGHS, The Movie" as his thesis film, while attending New York University Film School. After my commenting on the state of the food in his refrigerator, William simply said to me "cheese doesn't go bad, it just gets cheesier." I have used this line many times since then. Once, when we were eating lunch at some dump, perhaps the Great Jones Cafe, he was approached my many adoring fans (mostly women), and with a slight smirk, he looked at me and said "not bad for an old faggot, huh?" I have not yet found an opportunity to use this line, but I am still working on it. Goodbye Bill. Thanks for the use of the Orgone Box. Oh, yeah, by the way, don't ever let William Burroughs try to shoot an apple off of your head.
Miami, FL USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 10:34:15 (EDT)
the queer, junkie priest has left the building
Seattle, Wa USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 10:18:24 (EDT)
BiII didnt just beat the 0dds, he Iaughed in their face and ridicuIed them
MeIb0urne, AustraIia - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 10:14:07 (EDT)
you can't beat the mark inside.......
miami, fl usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 10:02:05 (EDT)
i have been reading the obits on Burroughs for the last few days, and i see the staff writers are doing the same thing to Burroughs that they did to Ginsberg (and all nonconformists). The obituaries contain numerous subtle and not-so-subtle denunciations. Of course people like Burroughs and Ginsberg are "softly" dismissed for drug use, as everyone seems to be afraid of that boogeyman these days...yawn. I have been spurred to write this because of one obit in particular, penned by Tony Perry of the LA Times, in which he says that the death of Bill's wife and son led to his "unstable mental condition in later decades." What rot. Burroughs was very sane, and very brave, and in my opinion a profoundly decent man. I think it is very sane to face one's demons, as Burroughs did daily. It seems odd to describe such fearlessness as instability. Perhaps Perry needs to see a shrink. Anyway, now that i've vented spleen on the back-stabbing obits writers, let me say that the likes of Burroughs will never be seen again, and i will miss him. i hope wherever you are, Mr. Burroughs, there are no Shits, only Johnsons.
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 08:59:37 (EDT)
Billy boy o billy boy
Darwin, NT 0820 - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 08:41:00 (EDT)
I expect to see the Mars probe transmit a picture of a huge
Denver, CCO USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 08:03:45 (EDT)
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 07:55:00 (EDT)
I've been lucky to read some oh his books when he was still alive.
cape town, south africa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 06:11:02 (EDT)
in memoriam w.s.b. thanks for all the teachings.mexico will always remember you.
paris, france - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 04:49:44 (EDT)
Old Bull Lee... I remember thinking a few weeks ago about how the old boy was going to kick the bucket one of these days-strange. I guess anyone who's put something here knows why-what can one say. Thanks Bill...
Laramie, WY USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 04:35:53 (EDT)
William Burroughs, thank you for the inspiration. You turned on an entire generation to writing, including myself, and I would like to thank you.
Gilbert, AZ 85234 - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 04:32:51 (EDT)
I first heard of Bill when I was about 16, and had started
doing the punk thing in Santa Fe, NM. The honesty of his
writings was just some of the coolest stuff I had ever read,
having been raised on Nancy Drew Mysteries, and the other
garbage that the public school system throws at young
arcata, ca usa - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 04:24:39 (EDT)
The man is dead, but his work will surely live on testifying
the truth of our disjointed, pre-Apocalyptic age. If the USA
has a writer for the 21st century it is WSB (what is the cut up,
if not literary "channel surfing"?). Burroughs understood, and
was able to inventively express, the chaos of post-modernity
decades before the mainstream ever realized it. (It seems an
ugly paradox that his work is currently embraced for its
darkness when Burroughs was acting like a literary surgeon,
diagnosing society's malignancies in order to free humankind.|
To have the nightmares themselves embraced as new drugs for a myth-addicted society would have surprised cyncial ol'Bill, but I bet it saddened him.)
Though linked to the Beats, Burroughs was his own movement -- renegade, fire-starter, shape-shifter, and, perversely enough, a moralist. I think of WSB as a literary shaman who tried heal us from the wounds of birth and death; Nature and Society.
Like all shaman, he was a social misfit and pereninally misunderstood or demonized by the mainstream (witness the horrid LA TIMES obituary). This iconoclastic Seeker pursued his role to the end with the dignity of the dedicated Artist, the courage of the paradigm-shifting Scientist, and the fertile creativity of The Genius.
For good or ill, we are all living in a Naked Lunch world.
The blazing, one-of-a-kind mind of William S. Burroughs was a lamp guiding us through the shit blackness of our waking nightmare. Now that lamp is out forever.
Nothing I say can fully express the utter originality of this Great American Artist -- nobody before him had done what he did until he did it.
When the Universe put those neurons together, it threw away the mold.
I love you, Uncle Bill. Happy landings.
Burbank, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 04:18:46 (EDT)
Seattle, WA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 04:11:22 (EDT)
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 04:09:27 (EDT)
Congratulations, you've scored the imacculate fix...
San Diego, CA Interzone - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 03:21:42 (EDT)
as usual, NY Times obit (Sunday's local, Monday's national
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 02:36:37 (EDT)
My deepest regards to all of the literary community, my
deepest respects to the man himself and deepest wishes for the future - that all he has done in his lifetime not
Soon - San Francisco, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 02:27:40 (EDT)
1. Standing in the local drugstore small town midwest looking over the cheap paperbacks. Image of a sweaty t-shirt clad addict slumped down, title: JUNKIE. Reasonably priced attractive trash I figure and purchase. Only to discover upon reading hey hey a minor masterpiece, and the beginning of an education, probably like most of you kiddos, I needed out.
2. Boulder, Colorado mid-nineteen seventies, in a hip bookstore. I notice the grey suit, the grey flesh, the stiff movements of a man who I have by now consummed every word published and studied every photo as if he were a rock star. I do not to intrude. Never intrude. What is there to say? But I am curious. I wonder what Mr Burroughs will purchase for his own consumption. I lurk around to see. After a short time he walks out with the current issue of The Farmers Almanac under his arm. I decide to go to Naropa and sign up for his writing workshops. Also, to this day I pick up the Almanac and gaze for meaning.
3. Burroughs coughs, and in that famous reptilian voice croaks out a fairly standard lecture on the art of writing filmscripts. Says you can probably make a good film from a bad book but don't try it the other way around. It is far more his humor and demenor than the content that make the class interesting. Recently I read he concluded that his teaching writing was a total failure.
4. The standard live readings at Naropa were pretty tedious even then. For every Ginsberg and Ann Waldman you had 5 bad imitations prattling on for hours. But there was only one William. Well, not true.
There were two. The other was his son, William "Billy" Jr. Who generally was a comlete but very sweet wreak. But a very interesting writer. The reading they gave together was one of the best ever. Soon after Billy was in the hospital in Denver for a liver transplant.
5. Through Denver poet Bill Ward I was introduced to Billy. Billy's two autobiographical books, Speed and Kentucky Ham chronicled his (and my own generations) decent into drugs and alcohol when he/we took the romanticism of the 'beats' too literally.
Billy sometimes read at a local reading series run by Ward. One night afterwards, we had a birthday party for him. There he talked of his father with great love, at the same time mentioning his parents various addictions at the time of his birth. He said he was told it had been a difficult labor. He looked at us for a while and then spoke quietly, "I didn't want to be born." Billy was dead within the year.
6. I never went to see William Sr. read again, tho I read all the books he wrote as they were published and collected the recordings. I was happy to see his paintings, his move to Kansas. But somehow my time with Billy and that sad statement words made me much more ambivilent towards my Willaim and all my previous 'heros'.
7. The days of our lives, filled now with those once so called obscene science fiction slashed books become rapid truths. Say hello to Billy for me and we will watch for you in the eyes of little fresh kitties born again and again.
Baltimore, MD USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 02:24:28 (EDT)
Los Alamos, Uranus - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 02:20:25 (EDT)
Old Bull Lee
Kokkola, Finland - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 02:19:59 (EDT)
St. Louis, MO USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 01:59:56 (EDT)
i´m so sad
bogota, colombia - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 01:32:11 (EDT)
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 27
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 01:25:48 (EDT)
Thank you Bill, for being one of the few who taught me the power of words.
Nijmegen, Netherlands - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 01:23:38 (EDT)
Regretably, I never met him. In fact, the closest I ever got
St.Louis, MO USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 01:21:58 (EDT)
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 01:20:02 (EDT)
Weary with toil I haste me to my bed,
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 01:17:08 (EDT)
syncronicity ginsberg leery carl burroughs
- Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 01:12:01 (EDT)
The howling is silenced
Brooklyn, NY USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 00:57:07 (EDT)
I got the fear.
Waterloo, ON Canada - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 00:14:42 (EDT)
It was only a year ago I first picked up On The Road. Dean
columbia, md eeuu - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 00:11:58 (EDT)
I thought he might have made some pact, that perhaps
Geelong , Victoria Australia - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 00:07:06 (EDT)
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