William Seward Burroughs
February 5, 1914 - August 2, 1997
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current Burroughs Links & News articles
memorial page ments from August 3, 1997
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Reader Comments from Monday August 4, 1997
The world's last great author has died; all the citizens of Interzone have fled. El Hombre Invisible has faded away, and I am saddened. William, you have taught me how to truly see. Good-bye.|
bayside, ny u.s.a - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 23:22:53 (EDT)
I Think american counterculture may have died too
Tampa, FL - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 23:21:13 (EDT)
When good old Willy died, I was talking about him on IRC to another longtime fan. He had the coolness of ten men and the charecter of twenty. The world must morn this loss-soon I'll but up a memorial on my page too. He was the grandaddy of them all...
wdwdwdw, wdwd wdwd - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 23:16:20 (EDT)
The world has become a infinitly less interesting place.
Atlanta, GA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 23:16:17 (EDT)
When I heard he had died of a heart attack i just thought
Tampa, FL usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 23:15:06 (EDT)
Roanoke , VA Capitalistic Broffel - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:57:39 (EDT)
Listen to his last words anywhere.
Lafayette, CO 80302 - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:53:59 (EDT)
Though I live only a few miles from WSB I never even drove by his house. I have seen the house he was born in and his sidewalk star in St. Louis. But somehow it never seemed appropriate to intentionally seek him out. My wife and I would look for him sometimes in the cat food aisle of a local grocery store or a local downtown bookstore. Cats was the only work of WSB my wife liked. If I would have met him I would have asked if anything ever came of The Revised Boy Scout Manual a fragment of which was published in Rolling Stone many years ago. Does anyone know?
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:47:39 (EDT)
I can't help feeling that we are now truly on our own.
Austin, TX USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:45:00 (EDT)
no other author (except for Ginsber,Kerouac) had an impact on my literary style. Their radical and flamboyant writing showed me the power of the soul to overcome material obstacles. We will always remember you - Allen
MIami, Fl U.S.A. - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:41:38 (EDT)
There was a strange man called Bill
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:33:15 (EDT)
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:18:35 (EDT)
USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:18:03 (EDT)
Thanks for the laughs, the words and the jarring of my imagination.
Chicago, IL - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 22:02:25 (EDT)
Decadence is humanity. I love the lines from Auden
Melbourne, Vic Australia - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:58:15 (EDT)
when life such as this ends... sadness is not enough.
aubrey, tx usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:56:07 (EDT)
Never Rest in Peace, Bill. Speak to us always from the Land of the Dead. Rearrange word and image and thought with invisible hands, eternally. Contaminate our dreams with alien wisdom. Infiltrate Heaven and make the bastards pay. My patron saint, you are erased from the Earth.
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:50:09 (EDT)
I remember W.S. Burroghs in a dream I had: He is there in my childhood room, laying on my bed. I am pleading with him not to die.
Reno, NV usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:40:20 (EDT)
The great William Burroughs is dead. For me, he
Athens, Greece - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:34:38 (EDT)
The Theater Is Closed
MEDIA, PA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:09:16 (EDT)
I saw in the paper on Sunday. I was wondering why they had an article on WSB and had the # 83 next to his name.
Dearborn Heights, mi - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:08:16 (EDT)
So long exterminator, Inspector Lee, Bull. See 'ya in Heaven.
Yonkers, NY 10707 - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:03:01 (EDT)
For William S. Burroughs, whose triumphant battle forged, whose imp of the perverse drove him past madness to visionary clarity:
Los Feliz, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 21:01:55 (EDT)
i haven't felt anything like this sense of loss for 20 years.
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 20:47:25 (EDT)
Thank you Agent Lee.
Cottage Grove, OR USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 20:34:59 (EDT)
I have a 1st edition Naked Lunch - the original copy published
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 20:06:25 (EDT)
bye bye Bill, I'm gonna miss you
london, uk - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 20:05:24 (EDT)
W.S.B. Cutt-off the head of my formerself and shat down the neck, for that I will be eternally grateful. Found him via the promo
Seattle, WA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 20:03:22 (EDT)
Brave man get a full head of hair to get the look on the millenium plain. Oh, William's dead. He did'nt write anymore so who the fuck cares.
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 19:57:51 (EDT)
this page makes me cry, and appreciate it. R.I.P., W.S.B.
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 19:47:51 (EDT)
After a while in university, I came into contact with the goth crowd. It wasn't until a saw Naked Lunch on video one drugged up night, that I really appreciated how some of my fellow goths found life. After everybody else saw it as an excuse for murder, drugs, etc, I understood that people cannot appreciate life without taking a look from an entirely new direction. And how he did.
"Smash the control images.
Smash the contol machine."
My eyes are open.....
Perth, WA Australia - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 19:38:47 (EDT)
Oh it saddend me when I heard the news, as well as many who have loved your work.The
BC R, fl USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 19:32:06 (EDT)
William S. Burroughs had a great and profound influence upon me I shall miss him.
Milford, CtX USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 19:21:53 (EDT)
William S. Burroughs first came in my face when
Amsterdam, Netherlands - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 19:18:37 (EDT)
Through all the decadence in the body of work, i was able to realize what it was to be human, and to recognize the life in others. Now? What comes next? And you left a door to Interzone, a legacy waiting to be colonized. The virus is still loose!
Sonora, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 19:13:54 (EDT)
"...for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
New Orleans, LA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 18:52:07 (EDT)
a very old spiriit in a uniquely frail and powerful form, burroughs is one for the ages. when folks of future centuries look back they will agree that he is the one that cracked the codes of the 20th century. it is indeed ironic that he and ginsberg exited this plane of existence within only weeks of one another, the yin and yang of it all or two spirits/minds/souls so vitally connected that it simply had to be so?
i have stolen a great deal from burroughs as will be evident in novel of mine soon to be published-- to have siezed a living tradition from the air? to have read everything of his i could get my hands on.
now with kerouac, safe in heaven dead?
rougemont, nc orange - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 18:18:46 (EDT)
What is there to say?
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 18:14:26 (EDT)
The sky opened up today, it rained down tears, shit, cum, death
oswego, ny usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 18:11:40 (EDT)
For Ah Pook's Sake
san jose, ca 95126 - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 18:04:30 (EDT)
...and he pierced like a giant pin,
la, ca usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 18:01:00 (EDT)
I first encountered Burrough's works in adolescence through some books my sister had lying around . This wasn't some cornball book of the month writer ! You can imagine at a young age the explosion of images his writing created .Stream of consciousness writing taps the imagination more powerfully because we can relate to it more directly .My favourite book was a collection of essays on writing and his influences and memories of his upbringing ,'The Adding Machine' .He was a master of conjuring images with phrases like 'saying something lips chapped ' and ' a room haunted by cold coffee'. Reading his books is like going to a movie ,they come alive visually .
London, - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:48:52 (EDT)
He is/was the ultimate quantum father of all muthas, he wrote us all down and out in his old grey web of rancid jissom,
he talked that spectral talkback via reel to real, he invented
several innaresting kinds of colourful sex arrangements, he taught
the English to blow up the Queen and cut up her rubberised
fragments, he faced the evil spirit, he ate curious English food and dreamed about it
for years afterwards, he unlocked the word-horde and rolled out the holy rock and rolling crowleys,
, the priest they called him, he discovered electrical plasma discharges between the words, last week my
wife went to work out at the gym, the video was scrolling MTV and THERE WAS BURROUGHS HAUNTING THE HOUSEWIVES
I had a dream I head a dream about him in a long mac "seem to have a bit of a local problem here ,son..."
He kept busy inventing the century. He was the high priest...
Hereford, UK - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:48:07 (EDT)
Thank you for the wonderful works that led to my
Columbia, MO usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:35:07 (EDT)
Fare thee well, OH Dear Bill Burroughs. May you be comforted by the companion ship of cats and Johnsons. Guide us through this odd and trying time. What a fast get away ! Teach us from where ever you are - find freedom and peace - send directions. To you with love and gratitude from an old student.
NYC, NY USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:29:14 (EDT)
strange how time is delayed for the dead.....
I was thinking about picking up some burroughs earlier
today (still hadn't heard) ...why, I don't know, because I
typically don't read him casually. casualty provides me w/
a reason now. before I could pick up the book - the Retreat
Diaries - I heard it on the radio. thinking he wants to tell
me something, obviously.
"Playboy of the Western World, guitar is I love you. Words
are made from breath. Your breath. Words need you. You do
not need words. Breath from maid are words. Words are what
is not. Knot is what are words. Words knot are what is? What
not words? OUR is? What knot is? Our words? What words knot
our is? What? Not our words? Is? What is knot our words? Our
words is not what?"
--WSB, Retreat Diaries
they're droppin' like flies these days. I liked living in
the knowing the old man was still there....but what are
words now? R.I.P.
p-town, pa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:24:22 (EDT)
I won't go on blithering about how much Bill or his work meant to me. I'll simply say, the last time I felt a lot like this is when I heard of Philip K. Dick's demise.
Canada - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:24:19 (EDT)
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:18:46 (EDT)
Madrid, Spain - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:18:15 (EDT)
To Uncle Bill,
carlsbad, nm usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:13:47 (EDT)
'Life is very dangerous and few survive it...' You said it, Bill. Rgds j
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:10:47 (EDT)
There would be no future without William S Burroughs.
Seattle, Wa USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 17:02:50 (EDT)
Thank You Mr. Bill
Pescara, Italia - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 16:47:45 (EDT)
oxford, oh 45056 - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 16:39:53 (EDT)
"We are in over your head."
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 16:34:02 (EDT)
i stumbled upon the burroughs web pages after endevouring to find out about ginsberg, but after a few minutes reading burroughs' old interviews, i became convinced that he should have won the respect that ginsberg and kerouac achieved. i myself am an (unpublished) poet, and though that is hardly surprising at seventeen, burroughs tought me that my verse does not have to subscribe to byron-esque patterns and use worsworth - style vocabulary to succeed, perhaps the most valuable lesson i will learn. i wish he were here.
UK - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 16:21:53 (EDT)
Each sentence contained paragraphs of information.
Reston, VA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 16:17:49 (EDT)
I wrote the first French language essay on William S.
Paris, France - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 16:01:48 (EDT)
Static reality has again lost another legendary dynamic entity.
Roanoke, VA US - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 15:44:36 (EDT)
"Language is a virus" And viruses are alive.
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 15:40:12 (EDT)
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 15:38:58 (EDT)
burroughs meant a lot to me. we share a birthday.i've read him for nearly all my adult life and yet the only thing that keeps nagging away in my mind is who's letting the cats out?
ventnor, iow uk - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 15:37:13 (EDT)
I remember when my dad gave me "On the Road"
NYC, NY us - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 15:28:12 (EDT)
Sweden - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 15:06:23 (EDT)
August 2, Saturday night...friends and I are listening to Tom
Waits' "The Black Rider"...Burroughs is singing, "T' 'ain't
no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones"
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 14:58:28 (EDT)
I stare at blank white form cursor flashing regurgitating memories of junk and dirty sheets in flames and bullet holes and bill lee vomiting prose like d.t. sweats and heroin withdrawal as we viewed his side of the universe. so long, old man. when you get where you are going, have a drink with allen and jack, and laugh at us fools trying to follow in your footsteps.
Amarillo, TX USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 14:56:11 (EDT)
...nothing here now but the recordings...
Nashville, TN USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 14:44:02 (EDT)
"Writing to Space." This was one of Burroughs ideas that
fascinated me; among other equally important ones. But Burroughs
idea of preparing us for a consciousness-in-space, or a being-
in-the-world where space travel, intergalatic politics and
congress with alien beings are realities - this is fantastic and large.
New York, - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 14:30:22 (EDT)
Thank you William...so much. I feel that the world is at a great loss now and I worry constantly about who we will all look to. We need visionaries. But this is all another story. I see myself as a visonary. I have looked to your work for guidance many a time when the "word" simply couldn't express my ramblings. My conciousness, I have found to be incommunicable in all but stream-of-conciosness-style. So many things I could say... But basically the only thing that will mean anything to me in the end, is the comfort I've found in reading your work. I long to meet someone whose work will make me feel as accepted in this world as yours did. I have struggled with life in this world so much simply because others couldn't understand. Now I find I can stop struggling. The belief that "language is a virus" keeps me hanging on. Rest.
Shelbyville, KY USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 14:20:50 (EDT)
I've never read or heard of a man so addicted to honesty, however crookedly he'd play it.
Leeds, UK - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 14:18:45 (EDT)
Old Bull Lee staring at his shoe. The quintessential junkie.
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 14:13:49 (EDT)
I justed wanted to thank WSB for giving others, by his example,
Ephrata, PA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 14:10:06 (EDT)
I am writing for my mother who was a huge fan of William
Burroughs. She is very saddened by the loss of such a great
man. I don't know if this is the best area to ask, but
maybe someone will see this comment and be able to direct it
to someone who can help. My mother wanted to know if all of
William Burroughs cats had homes to go to since his death.
Belleview, FL USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 13:42:51 (EDT)
My reaction to Burroughs' work varied from indifference to
amazement, but when it was good, it was very good. I know
of no other author who could draw such a complete picture
for me with only a few sentences. I have often picked up
"The Western Lands" and started reading at a random page.
Columbus, OH USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 13:33:19 (EDT)
Thank you Mr. Bill:
Gainesville, FL USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 13:30:27 (EDT)
"son cosas la vida"
Venice, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 13:29:02 (EDT)
burroughs in one hundred years will be read by everyone.
salt lake city, ut - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 13:17:12 (EDT)
Death needs time, like a junkie needs junk, but you canıt deny it in the end.
Brighton, UK - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 13:08:01 (EDT)
This note is written intentionally with hyperlinks to appreciate Mr. William S. Burroughs' legacy.|
August 4, 1997
Monday, 04:35 a.m.
Los Angeles(http://log04.nswses.navy.mil/la_area.htm), coming from the street, feeling like a bladerunner (http://www.indranet.com/potpourri/bladerunner/bladerunner.html),
open my Internet line, my anti-hero (http://www.firehorse.com/outlaws/wsb/) is dead.
Homage to Burroughs
Williams S. Burroughs (http://www.firehorse.com/outlaws/wsb/img/buroughs.gif) was a man of great feeling and even greater courage. His work (http://www.primenet.com/~dirtman/wsb.htm) was his life. He lived then, as we will do today, among brute people who would literally destroy us physically and spiritually for the unforgivable sin of thinking new ideas. Despite this vulnerability, he wrote about the truth of himself with painful honesty, and the strength of his art protected him and freed others. I salute his courage and thank him for the gift of his life.
[Open word processor . ..]
Do You Want Me To Type A Memo?
And now I sit here hopeless,
a single night of pleasure or one of its radiant mornings.
While at the end of the café
head bent over the table, an old man sits alone,
a newspaper in front of him.
And in the miserable banality of old age and electronics,
he thinks how Discretion fooled him.
He asked me about the quality of the poor-side streets
of our world, (http://caster.ssw.upenn.edu/~restes/isw/chapter24.html)
his voice choking.
Almost silence by desire, his voice harshed.
He turned eighty-three six months before,
he idled his way down the main street.
My love could not protect him.
But we who serve Art, (http://www.charm.net/~brooklyn/LitKicks.html)
sadly shut away in a sumptuous mausoleum,
that he'll come back again, that the weather be good.
Do you still want me to type a memo?
[. . . close word processor]
Ruben A. McDavid
Copyright1997. All Rights Reserved.
(cut and paste in a word processor such as notepad,
save it as homage.txt and see it in a HTML browser.)
Los Angeles, CA US - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 12:43:05 (EDT)
Santa Rosa, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 12:37:00 (EDT)
"Wrinkled earlobes are a sign of impending heart attacks"
Pittsburgh, PA usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 12:35:04 (EDT)
Can't believe this. Now the last one of them (Kerouac, Ginsberg) has gone. I just finished reading 'Naked Lunch' for the second time and thought "Unbelieveable, this guy is still alive" when I catched the news on TV. It's hitting me hard but instead of crying I'll start with 'Nova Express' this evening.
Würselen, D Germany - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 12:17:47 (EDT)
To say i feel sad, would truly be a lie and since i didnt know wsb, I shant didresepect him. Too many things are known and that is what confuses me. What passes for a hero these days? Did the man become a junkie then write about it or did he decide to write about that and then became a junkie. The man killed his wife. He tried to shoot a shot glass off her head for chrits sake. Ladies is this the man for you or you daughter to look up too. Manson also was a writer.
atlanta, ga - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 12:12:23 (EDT)
Deep condolence to his physical expiration. But what he has taught us is the attainment of immortality beyond such human limitation. Words are virus, and the words of Bill Buroughs have finally become free from a man. His transmigration to the cyber has been finally achived. St. Burroughs, rebellious American man of words, I, amongst thousands of his followers thank you for the world you have intiated us into.
Los Alamos, Uranus - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 12:08:46 (EDT)
All day Saturday I felt disjointed and out of sorts. An Alien in my own skin. I didn't know why. Sunday, I re-arranged my room; I needed a change. I felt a need for a new beginning. I didn't know why. Today, driving to work, I caught a bare snippet of NPR, just as I was inserting a CD. I KNEW they were talking about WSB, and I KNEW he was dead. I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. This guy was one of my first important hero's. The world was a better, wierder place, knowing he was shuffling around on it. Where are all the new visionaries coming from? Who will plant the new mind bombs? Time, gentlemen. Time.
Sacramento, ca usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 12:06:17 (EDT)
WSB made many a person think, cry, laugh, write, love and
hamden, ct 06514 - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 12:05:25 (EDT)
i cried for my loss, not bill's...hopefully he's past the
orange, ca usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 11:53:48 (EDT)
Yesterday afternoon I was lying in bed reading Victor Brockis' A Report from the Bunker. I had not heard of Burroughs' death. Last night while painting in my studio with friends we talked for some time about his life and work. We still had not heard. One of my friends sitting with me was a student of mine from the past year. In a senior level art history class at a local private high school I suggested he read Naked Lunch. He went out and picked up a copy, began reading it. His parents picked it up asked where he had gotten it. They confiscated the book and later I was dismissed from teaching the class. He and I have become what I feel will surely be livelong friends. It's interesting what a little oppression, a little censorship can do. Burroughs' work, how he worked ("all the make-do. all the know-how"), what he stood for, changed my life. I'm forever greatful.
indpls, IN us of a - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 11:53:10 (EDT)
Recently, during a visit to Paris I missed a visit to 9 Rue Git Le Coeur due to illness.
Nottingham, England - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 11:28:39 (EDT)
I am no longer sure where the upstarts and ass-kickers of future generations will get their start.
Knoxville, MD USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 11:21:00 (EDT)
Oh it saddend me when I heard the news, as well as many
who have loved your work.The mornings idiot box herald
even brought deeper hurt and loss I imagine to those
Boca Raton, Fl US - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 11:18:23 (EDT)
Bill was very important and still is. To ignore his work is to ignore life's potential.
Boston, MA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 11:12:27 (EDT)
isn't it ironic?
Ghent, Belgium - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:43:08 (EDT)
Some things make your throat close up
Charleston, SC US of A - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:40:27 (EDT)
THIS, THE END OF THE CENTURY. THE OBVIOUS STRIFE AND DISCORD IS NOW CONFIRMED WITH THE PASSING OF ALL THIS YEAR. AG, TL AND NOW THIS. 8.2.97 MARKED MY 30th BIRTHDAY, I WILL ALWAYS REMBER THAT DATE AS THE DAY BILL PASSED ON. GOOD TRIP KID, DON'T TAKE ANY WOODEN NICKLES AND NEVER TRUST A JUNKY.
FARMINGTON HILLS, MI U.S.A. - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:35:30 (EDT)
don't remember how I found the page, but I submitted
one of the early comments and now just want to add a
suggestion since I see you've added links. You may
dallas, - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:33:27 (EDT)
So here I am living not twenty minutes from the man all these years and never did nothing. What a horrible year. Ginsburg, Leary, now Burroughs. The American nightmare still stumbles forward and churches and jails spring up like weeds. thanks for everything
olathe, ks USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:23:20 (EDT)
his works showed many things that i couldn't see. R.I.P.
tokyo, japan - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:21:15 (EDT)
"goddamn bunch of sissies, can't you stop your snivelling
albuquerque, - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:15:17 (EDT)
This time I get to do the shooting!
yes, no any - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:05:09 (EDT)
uncle bill! we hardly knew ye. we're here to go!
pittsburgh, pa usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 10:01:31 (EDT)
The paranoid insomniac's paranoid insomniac ...
Royal Oak, MI USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:59:03 (EDT)
:( OH, No, Mr. Bill! ):
Terra Firma, - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:41:16 (EDT)
P.S. from Doug Dobey:
Richmond, VA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:41:13 (EDT)
:( OH, No, Mr. Bill! ):
Terra Firma, - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:40:21 (EDT)
Richmond, VA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:31:33 (EDT)
I taught Naked Lunch to a group of blue haired ladies and green slacks, plaid jacket, golf course men, at Suffolk Community College. I thought I'd hear a lot of tsk-tsks, but I was interested in the book and I hoped they would be. And they were. They loved it, laughing out loud and shaking their heads and maybe going to confession afterwards, but Burroughs got to them. The golf links and beauty parlors of Long Island are forever changed because of Burroughs.
NYC, NYNY US - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:31:13 (EDT)
I always thought "Words of Advice for Young People" should have been included in the teaching curriculum in every high school. Maybe the youth of today could have learned something from it.
Chicago, IL U.S. - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:30:54 (EDT)
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:12:01 (EDT)
A genuine Burroughs dream I had about 2 years ago:
London, UK - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 09:01:46 (EDT)
Brussels, Belgium - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 08:53:16 (EDT)
Ehh.... avrei potuto sriverlo in una lingua più adatta, come l'inglese. Ma non basterebbe comunque a descrivere a chi in questo momento sta leggendo, il vuoto e il malessere che ho provato.
bologna, italy - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 08:46:25 (EDT)
Barcelona, Spain - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 07:54:46 (EDT)
Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook's sake.
London, - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 07:41:25 (EDT)
I cried when I heard the news -
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 06:40:13 (EDT)
REQUIEM FOR MR LEE
Edinburgh, Scotland - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 06:25:18 (EDT)
Burroughs' cut-up method met the needs of those gifted with Multiple Attentions Capacity (MAC).
San Luis Obispo, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 05:54:47 (EDT)
After Ginsberg; Ol' Bull Lee was one one the last anti-heroes. One of the last living legends. Life may not always be pretty, but is always real and in your face and there comes a time when every man must be enlightened to exactly what is on the end of his fork.
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 05:46:42 (EDT)
0r1@nD0, F1111 01011101110101100100111010011011011101010101101010 10001101100100010001010111110101011001101010100101 01111110011101011010101010100011111010101110100101 01010010001101000001010010101010101111111001011001 10101001010101010010000101111011101011110101000010 100100010011110010101010100100100100001001 - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 05:41:04 (EDT)
I started this memorial page about 24 hours ago, shortly after hearing the news, when I realized from emails that there was a need for an appropriate place to vent, share stories and acknowledge what Uncle Bill meant to so many of us.
Berkeley, - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 05:21:47 (EDT)
I always thought of WSB as too tenacious an old bugger to go
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 05:12:30 (EDT)
A powerful skeleton key has slipped from our grasp. But oh,
SF, CA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 05:11:15 (EDT)
read burroughs when i was 16
ny USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 05:06:16 (EDT)
I was planning a trip to meet the great Beat Godfather when the
Seattle, WA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 04:30:26 (EDT)
This morning, I was devestated by an article in the paper announcing that my favorite writer, William S. Burroughs, died yesterday. At 6:50 p.m. in Lawrence Kansas, at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital, about 24 hours after suffering a heart attack, Uncle Bill departed from our world.
xxx, xx USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 03:03:28 (EDT)
first got turned on to Bill via Laurie Anderson..(language is a virus) sorry to see him go...surprised he lasted this long....its getting slim with Bill, Allen,and Jerry gone...
- Monday, August 04, 1997 at 02:54:38 (EDT)
I stumbled upon Naked Lunch when I was fourteen years old. 1966. The content of the book hardly mattered. It was the force of the feeling that it conveyed. What I got from Burroughs was the example of his unabashed individuality and his capacity to live it. There are ever decreasing numbers of individual self-created human beings in the world. We all live in too much fear. I think that it is time that we take a look around. How much freedom are we willing to reliquish before we learn the art of self-rule?
Buchanan, VA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 02:13:37 (EDT)
Expletives don't do it justice.|
I never met wsb. My actual impressions "of the man" have come from the books, the recordings, the photos, the art show, interviews. You get the picture.
But there was more to it than that. When I was in my early twenties (somewhere around 74-76), I was living with friends in West Newbury, Mass., in a beautiful, white converted farmhouse. It had been broken up into two apartments. On our side, we were three college kids. Two dames and me. And those were the days my friend, and those were the days my friend...
In the other apartment lived Harvey Brown. At the time, he was about the age I am now, 45, so he became something of a teacher/father/mentor. He was a beatjunkypoetmusician living across town from his wife and kids. And WHAT a man. Always kind and quiet and patient with us. Since two of us were English majors (the other was a student nurse), he took an interest. Harvey must have been horrified. Yeah, we knew a little about Ginzburg, a touch of Kerouak, but mostly my "reading" consisted of Kesey and Hunter Thompson. Well, no, I had read Ulysses, Nin, Henry Miller. A few things. Cindy, the other English major was strong in Stein, Munro, Dickinson. We had pretty much missed the 50s.
Within a few weeks, we were reading Black Sparrow Press. Corso, Ferlinghetti, Big Ed, Bukowski (he sent Charles right into my hand...called him the "Old Beerfart.") And Charles Olson, "our" Marblehead maestro.
I dunno if I found Naked Lunch at Harvey's or if Cindy had a copy or what. But it was the first edition of the paperback, and I remember a lurid cover, something like a half-dressed dame sitting on a hard backed chair and crying. Anyway, I had been reading it a little for a week or so when I overheard Harvey talking to Cindy about it in the other room. Then he said that it really wasn't something yopu could "read," at least not the first time. He said that you had to "hear" it to understand the pacing, the rhythm. So, he picked it up and read us the first five pages.
It was absolutely electrifying. Blonde, junky, surfer/cigarette voiced Harvey Brown didn't read it like I had been "reading" it. He performed, he sang, he said it all TO US, personally, as people who just had to know before went took one more breath or walked another step in life. He became Henry Lee, maybe because of having lived through so much of it, or maybe he had heard wsb or someone else read it. Who knows? Harvey was not a big one for filling in the details.
The book was never the same after that. Nor was I. I used to take lsd and read the heavy metal books: soft machine, nova express, the ticket that exploded. Everything I could get. I found out that my best friend from high school was also a major wsb fan. we bought red at the same time in hardcover. i was not disappointed. and then the last words of dutch schultz.
I spent a lot of my life before (and some since) reading burroughs, feeling like the rube at a carny. I just didn't realize it or know what to call it. Since then, I have tried to understand what it means to be a "mark," and how to deal with the biggest con of all, the one from within.
wsb's words will run through me forever. I am always ammazed when I read him and so many of what I think of as "my phrases" are there. not shakespeare nor the bible for me.
god knows where harvey is. now bill is gone. Allen, too. So soon. When Allen died, I thought "at least burroughs is still..." Well, that's that.
What can we do but talk to each other and write?
Thanks, bill. Somehow, your fear made you the bravest of the brave. Give my regards to Jane. I don't mean that in a mean way. I have no doubt that he loved her. and that that one moment freed him somehow. as if the worst thing had already happened, so what the hell? why not write, why not admit everything, why not just lay it out? and while I'm at it, thanks Jack, you drunken, mother-livin', Lowell canuck bastard. you just wouldn't let up because you KNEW it was in there.
and what, exactly, IS that on the end of your fork, Mr. Lee?
san diego, ca IZ - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 02:07:12 (EDT)
Agent Lee has now been officially taken out of service.
Auckland, New Zealand - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 02:04:34 (EDT)
all those who should be here to speak on william's behalf are no longer here.
Cullowhee, NC 28723 - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 01:06:42 (EDT)
Uncle Bill literally expanded my mind the way a drug should.
GA USA - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 01:00:16 (EDT)
Cardiac arrest goddamit!
Linville, NC - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 00:56:27 (EDT)
When my best friend called me at 6:30 or so to tell me the bad
news, I didn't believe him. I was shocked. I admired
Burroughs for his new way of thinking. I love the scratchy sound of
his voice. I admire him because he has seen and experienced
so much. I decided that in memory of this man, I will read
every one of his books. Anyone have another way to
mourn him? Any ideas? We will miss Uncle Bill. He has
contributed so much. ~ Matt
Williamsburg, Ma usa - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 00:29:28 (EDT)
the news came in email, that the body's full of holes
and it's time to move on. objectively true, sure, but
still hurts like a monthold spike tearing through the
thin membrane which separates everyday life & another
more dangerous more entrancing place. where burroughs
lived. where the centipedes crawled & sickness burned
with the intensity of noon in sangre de christo (will
christ NEVER get tired of bleeding?! the Voice echoes
ringing through this mind) it's not too much to state
that wsb saved my life, that his works came and spoke
to me when i was in bad places, doing bad things, and
suggested that there was a scrap of meaning above the
daily rituals, the ablutions of score & cook & shoot.
that the Johnsons indeed deserved respect & the other
ones were probably incorrigible. cut word lines, cut
music lines. the theatre is closed. hope it's all you
expected, bill. i'll see you later, over on the other
Campbell, cali us ov amerikkka - Monday, August 04, 1997 at 00:02:09 (EDT)
This Burroughs memorial project is brought to you via Malcolm Humes & The Burroughs Files, hosted by Hyperreal and Sunsite UNC.