Allen Ginsberg
Naked Lunch
Jack Kerouac
Gregory Corso
Joan Vollmer
(Civil society)
Terry Southern
Beat Hotel
(Tourism and Hospitality)

See also

William S. Burroughs

Knowledge Identifier: +William_S._Burroughs


William S. Burroughs

American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer add

Category: Literature

Born in 1914.

Countries: United States (46%), United Kingdom (10%), France (8%)

Main connections: Allen Ginsberg, Naked Lunch, Jack Kerouac

Linked to: Beat Hotel, Ministry, Playboy, Adams House




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William S. Burroughs was born in 1914 add something


He attended John Burroughs School in St. Louis where his first published essay, "Personal Magnetism," was printed in the "John Burroughs Review" in 1929 add something


Burroughs finished high school at Taylor School in Clayton, Missouri, and in 1932, left home to pursue an arts degree at Harvard University, where he was affiliated with Adams House add something


He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studying English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and later attending medical school in Vienna add something


Burroughs graduated from Harvard in 1936 add something


In 1939, his emotional health became a concern for his parents, especially after he deliberately severed the last joint of his left little finger, right at the knuckle, to impress a man with whom he was infatuated add something


New York School - There are commonalities between the New York School and the members of the beat generation poets active in 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s New York City, including Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Diane di Prima, Diane Wakoski, Anne Waldman, Tuli Kupferberg, Ed Sanders, Norris Embry, and several others


After being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and U.S. Navy in 1942 to serve in World War II, he dropped out and became afflicted with the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs add something


Burroughs enlisted in the U.S. Army early in 1942, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into World War II add something


In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of what became the countercultural movement of the Beat Generation add something


In 1944, Burroughs began living with Joan Vollmer Adams in an apartment they shared with Jack Kerouac and Edie Parker, Kerouac's first wife add something


This incident inspired Burroughs and Kerouac to collaborate on a novel titled "And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks", completed in 1945 add something


Their son, William S. Burroughs, Jr., was born in 1947 add something


The family moved briefly to New Orleans in 1948 add something


Burroughs attended classes at the Mexico City College in 1950 studying Spanish, as well as "Mexican picture writing" and the Mayan language with R. H. Barlow add something


In 1950, Robert Ruark had described the unbridled tenor of the Moroccan city in his syndicated column add something


John Calder - During the 1950s, Calder published the translated work of Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Goethe and Zola, including most of the work of April FitzLyon, and was the first publisher to make William S. Burroughs available in the United Kingdom


In 1951, Burroughs shot and killed Vollmer in a drunken game of "William Tell" at a party above the American-owned Bounty Bar in Mexico City add something


Joan Vollmer - The film centres on the killing of Joan Vollmer Burroughs, on 6th September 1951, by her husband, William S. Burroughs


Joan Vollmer - The film centres on the killing of Joan Vollmer Burroughs, on 6 September 1951, by her husband, William S. Burroughs


During 1953, Burroughs was at loose ends add something


This deal included the publication rights to the 1953 unpublished novel "Queer" add something


He left for Tangier in November 1954 and spent the next four years there working on the fiction that would later become "Naked Lunch", as well as attempting to write commercial articles about Tangier add something


Eventually, Ginsberg and Kerouac, who had traveled to Tangier in 1957, helped Burroughs type, edit, and arrange these episodes into "Naked Lunch" add something


Beat Hotel - Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky first stayed there in 1957 and were soon joined by William S. Burroughs, Derek_Raymond, Harold Norse and Gregory Corso, as well as Sinclair Beiles


But Allen Ginsberg worked to get excerpts published in "Black Mountain Review" and "Chicago Review" in 1958 add something


Excerpts from "Naked Lunch" were first published in the United States in 1958 add something


Irving Rosenthal, student editor of "Chicago Review", a quarterly journal partially subsidized by the university, promised to publish more excerpts from "Naked Lunch", but he was fired from his position in 1958 after "Chicago Daily News" columnist Jack Mabley called the first excerpt obscene add something


Burroughs moved into a rundown hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris in 1959 when "Naked Lunch" was still looking for a publisher add something


This controversy made "Naked Lunch" interesting to Girodias again, and he published the novel in 1959 add something


"Naked Lunch" was featured in a 1959 "Life" magazine cover story, partly as an article that highlighted the growing Beat literary movement add something


After the publication of "Naked Lunch", a book whose creation was to a certain extent the result of a series of contingencies, Burroughs was exposed to Brion Gysin's cut-up technique at the Beat Hotel in Paris in September 1959 add something


Naked Lunch - "'Naked Lunch"' is a novel by American writer William S. Burroughs, originally published in 1959


According to Burroughs, he had known a certain Captain Clark, around 1960 in Tangier, who once bragged that he had been sailing 23 years without an accident add something


After the novel was published, it slowly became notorious across Europe and the United States, garnering interest from not just members of the counterculture of the 1960s, but literary critics such as Mary McCarthy add something


Burroughs was so dedicated to the cut-up method that he often defended his use of the technique before editors and publishers, most notably Dick Seaver at Grove Press in the 1960s and Holt, Rinehart & Winston in the 1980s add something


He appeared alongside Brion Gysin in a number of short films in the 1960s directed by Balch add something


In the 1960s, Burroughs joined and left the Church of Scientology add something


The novel "Nova Express" inspired the names of Grant Hart's post-Hüsker Dü band Nova Mob, as well as Australian 1960s R&B band Nova Express add something


Harold Norse - He penned the experimental cut-up novel "Beat Hotel" in 1960 while living in Paris with William S. Burroughs, Allen_Ginsberg and Gregory Corso from 1959 to 1963


Good Vibrations - John Bush compared the track's fragmented cut-and-paste style to 1960s experimentalists such as William S. Burroughs


Joan Vollmer - Published as "The Ugly Spirit" in "Burroughs Live: The Collected Interviews of William S. Burroughs 1960-1997


A book composed of letters between Burroughs and Ginsberg, "The Yage Letters," was published in 1963 by City Lights Books add something


John Giorno - Meetings with William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in 1964 contributed to his interest in applying cut up and montage techniques to found texts, and his first audio poem pieces, one of which was played at the Paris Museum of Modern Art Biennale in 1965


Donald Fagen - After graduating from South Brunswick High School in 1965, Fagen enrolled at Bard College to study English literature, having been inspired by Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory_Corso, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Burroughs left Paris for London in 1966 to take the cure again with Dr. Dent, a well-known English medical doctor who spearheaded a reputedly painless heroin withdrawal treatment using the drug apomorphine add something


Burroughs played Opium Jones in the 1966 Conrad Rooks cult film "Chappaqua", which featured cameo roles by Allen Ginsberg, Moondog, and others add something


In 1966, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared the work "not obscene" on the basis of criteria developed largely to defend the book add something


Benjamin Christensen - Long circulating as a silent in 16mm market, it was re-edited into a shorter version in 1967 by British film maker Antony Balch with an added jazz score and narration by William S. Burroughs, and as such became a favorite film of the counter-culture


In 1968 Burroughs joined Jean Genet, John Sack, and Terry Southern in covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention for "Esquire" magazine add something


Robert Smithson - In September 1968, Smithson published the essay "A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects" in Artforum that promoted the work of the first wave of land art artists, and in 1969 he began producing land art pieces to further explore concepts gained from his readings of William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, and George Kubler.


Although Billy had successfully published two short novels in the 1970s, and was deemed by literary critics like Ann Charters as a bona fide "second generation beat writer", his brief marriage to a teenage waitress had disintegrated add something


Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg would take this same cure in 1971, with Dr. Dent's nurse, Smitty add something


In 1972, Burroughs and Southern unsuccessfully attempted to adapt "Naked Lunch" for the screen in conjunction with American game-show producer Chuck Barris add something


In 1974, concerned about his friend's well-being, Allen Ginsberg gained for Burroughs a contract to teach creative writing at the City College of New York add something


Through Grauerholz, Burroughs became a monthly columnist for the noted popular culture magazine "Crawdaddy", for which he interviewed Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page in 1975 add something


Kashmir (song) - In an interview he gave to William S. Burroughs in 1975, Page mentioned that at the time the song was composed, none of the band members had ever been to Kashmir


Burroughs decided to relocate back to the United States permanently in 1976 add something


His father spent many months in 1976 and 1977 in Colorado, helping Billy through many additional surgeries and complications add something


Throughout early 1977, Burroughs collaborated with Southern and Dennis Hopper on a screen adaptation of "Junky" add something


Terry Southern - In 1977 and 1978 Southern was embroiled in a lengthy and chaotic attempt to make a film version of William S. Burroughs' novel "Junky", but the project collapsed due to the erratic behaviour of its principal backer, Jules Stein


Organized by Columbia professor Sylvère Lotringer, Giorno, and Grauerholz, the Nova Convention was a multimedia retrospective of Burroughs's work held from November 30 to December 2, 1978, at various locations throughout New York add something


Laurie Anderson (performance artist) - In 1978, Anderson performed at The Nova Convention, a major conference involving many counter-culture figures and rising avant-garde musical stars, including William S. Burroughs, Philip_Glass, Frank Zappa, Timothy Leary, Malcolm Goldstein, John Cage, and Allen Ginsberg.


Burroughs, by 1979, was once again addicted to heroin add something


Burroughs narrated part of the 1980 documentary "Shamans of the Blind Country" by anthropologist and filmmaker Michael Oppitz add something


These splattered canvasses were shown in a Chicago gallery in the late 1980s and a New York City gallery in the early 1990s add something


Between 1981 and 1987, he published "Cities of the Red Night" ; "The Place of Dead Roads" ; and "The Western Lands" add something


In 1981, Billy Burroughs died in Florida add something


The building fell within New York City rent control policies that made it extremely cheap; it was only about four hundred dollars a month until 1981 when the rent control rules changed, doubling the rent overnight add something


First published in 1982, the British slipstream fiction magazine "Interzone" paid tribute to him with its choice of name add something


He was finally inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983 after several attempts by Allen Ginsberg to get him accepted add something


In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France add something


He attended the induction ceremony in May 1983 add something


A documentary titled "Burroughs", directed by Howard Brookner, was released in 1984 add something


In 1984 he signed a seven-book deal with Viking Press after he signed with literary agent Andrew Wylie add something


Before Vollmer died, Burroughs had largely completed his first two novels in Mexico, although "Queer" was not published until 1985 add something


Terry Southern - In 1985 "Candy" and "The Magic Christian" were reprinted by Penguin and Southern featured prominently in the Howard Brookner documentary on William S. Burroughs


In addition, Burroughs provided vocal samples for the soundtrack of Anderson's 1986 concert film, "Home of the Brave", and made a cameo appearance in it add something


Van Sant's short film "Thanksgiving Prayer" features Burroughs reading the poem "Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986," from "Tornado Alley", intercut with a collage of black and white images add something


A collaboration with musicians Nick Cave and Tom Waits resulted in a collection of short prose, "Smack My Crack", later released as a spoken word album in 1987 add something


He played an aging junkie priest in Gus Van Sant's 1989 film "Drugstore Cowboy" add something


He sent these writings to Ginsberg, his literary agent for "Junkie", but none were published until 1989 when "Interzone", a collection of short stories, was published add something


He collaborated with Tom Waits and director Robert Wilson to create "The Black Rider", a play which opened at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg in 1990, to critical acclaim, and was later performed all over Europe and the U.S. In 1991, with Burroughs's sanction, director David Cronenberg took on the seemingly impossible task of adapting "Naked Lunch" into a full-length feature film add something


In 1990, Island Records released "Dead City Radio", a collection of readings set to a broad range of musical compositions add something


In 1990, he released the spoken word album "Dead City Radio," with musical back-up from producers Hal Willner and Nelson Lyon, and alternative rock band Sonic Youth add something


Burroughs was fictionalized in Jack Kerouac's autobiographical novel "On the Road" as "Old Bull Lee." He makes an appearance in J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical 1991 novel "The Kindness of Women" add something


In June 1991 Burroughs underwent triple bypass surgery add something


In 1992 Burroughs worked with The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy on "Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales", with the duo providing musical background and accompaniment to Burroughs's spoken readings from several of his books add something


In 1992 he recorded "Quick Fix" with Ministry, which appeared on their single for "Just One Fix add something


He became a member of a chaos magic organization, the Illuminates of Thanateros, in 1993 add something


Kurt Cobain - Cobain introduced the latter by calling Lead Belly his favorite performer, and in a 1993 interview revealed he had been introduced to him from reading the American author, William S. Burroughs


Scott Treleaven - Concurrent with the documentary Queercore: A Punk-u-mentary, Treleaven created an illustrated zine project called This Is The Salivation Army (1996–1999): a mix of punk, goth, occult, and industrial music aesthetics, alongside homages to iconoclasts like William S. Burroughs, Brion_Gysin, William Blake, and Derek Jarman.


Burroughs died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas, after suffering a heart attack in 1997 add something


He died in 1997 on a methadone maintenance program add something


Since 1997, several posthumous collections of Burroughs's work have been published add something

William S. Burroughs died in 1997 add something


Good Will Hunting - The film is dedicated to the memory of poet Allen Ginsberg and writer William S. Burroughs, both of whom died in 1997


A collection of journal entries written during the final months of Burroughs's life was published as the book "Last Words" in 2000 add something


Burroughs is featured on the 2000 compilation tribute album, "Stoned Immaculate", on a track that pairs Jim Morrison yelping and groaning with Burroughs reading Morrison's poetry add something


Burroughs was portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland in the 2000 film "Beat", written and directed by Gary Walkow add something


The music was recorded by the surviving Doors members in 2000 specifically for this album add something


Erling Wold - The success of the production led to a residency at ODC Theater in San Francisco , where he premiered his opera "Queer" based on William S. Burroughs' early autobiographical novel of the same name in 2001 and "Sub Pontio Pilato", an historical fantasy on the death and remembrance of Pontius Pilate in 2003


In the 2004 novel "Move Under Ground", Burroughs, Kerouac, and Neal Cassady team up to defeat Cthulhu add something


Burroughs's writing continues to be referenced years after his death; for example, a November 2004 episode of the TV series "," made during Burroughs's lifetime, in which both Dr. Benway and Mr. Lee are paged add something


The two fledgling authors were unable to get it published, but the manuscript was eventually published in November 2008 by Grove Press and Penguin Books add something


In September 2010, Telos Publishing, a UK publisher, was scheduled to release the novel "Rules of Duel", a previously unpublished late-60s collaboration between Burroughs and Graham Masterton add something


Burroughs is portrayed by Ben Foster in the 2013 film "Kill Your Darlings", directed by John Krokidas and written by John Krokidas and Austin Bunn add something


Scott Crary - On October 1st, 2013, Crary previewed selections from a forthcoming conceptual photo book he is working on with photographer and model Ira Chernova, which depicts the former New York City residences of celebrated creative personalities, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, William S. Burroughs, Diane Arbus, Bob Dylan, J.D. Salinger, Mark Rothko, Nico, and others


Scott Crary - On October 1, 2013, Crary previewed selections from a forthcoming conceptual photo book he is working on with photographer and model Ira Chernova, which depicts the former New York City residences of celebrated creative personalities, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, William S. Burroughs, Diane Arbus, Bob Dylan, J.D._Salinger (J._D._Salinger), Mark Rothko, Nico, and others


New restored editions of The Nova Trilogy , edited by Oliver Harris and published in 2014, included notes and materials to reveal the care with which Burroughs used his methods and the complex histories of his manuscripts add something


Scott Crary - On April 16, 2015, Crary previewed selections from a forthcoming conceptual photo book he is working on with photographer and model Ira Chernova, which depicts the former New York City residences of celebrated creative personalities, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, William S. Burroughs, Diane Arbus, Bob Dylan, J.D._Salinger (J._D._Salinger), Mark Rothko, Nico, and others


Burroughs appears in Paul La Farge's 2017 novel "The Night Ocean", as a student and acquaintance of R. H. Barlow in Mexico City add something