Burroughs W. 1914 - 1997 (83)

When you stop growing you start dying.


Naked lunch

“The junk merchant doesn't sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.”

William S. Burroughs (February 5, 1914 - August 2, 1997) was an American author; his work is mostly autobiographical, based on his personal experiences. He was born in 1914 and was the youngest of two sons of a wealthy family as his grandfather had made a fortune with the invention of a pioneering arithmetic calculator. During his student years he wrote an essay entitled "Personal Magnetism", which was published in the school newspaper. He was sent to a school for the rich in New Mexico, which was very stressful. He dropped out of school due to a quarrel and eventually finished school in St. Louis and went to Harvard in 1932. He received a degree in fine arts from Harvard in 1936 and his parents decided to give him a monthly income so that he could live without financial stress. He began traveling, for some months he studied medicine in Vienna, then he traveled around Europe frequenting marginalized circles and gay hangouts. He met a Jew who wanted to escape the Nazi regime and married her to grant her American citizenship. They soon divorced but remained friends for many years.

In 1939 he injured his finger to impress someone, later he wrote a short story about the event entitled "The finger". He enlisted in the US Army in 1942 but after a few months and while he was unhappy because he was not made an officer but just a soldier, he demanded his release due to mental disorder. He went to New York where he accompanied Kerouac and Ginsberg, forming with them the Beat generation and started heroin and opium. He did various jobs and a second marriage, found himself in Mexico with his wife whom he accidentally killed during a drunkenness, when he put a glass on her head and tried to shoot it from about three meters. The bullet was nailed to her forehead. He spent only a few days in prison and then continued to travel to Europe and North Africa taking drugs and starting writing. In 1953 he published the book "Junkie" which tells the life of drug addicts while his most famous book was published in 1959: "The Naked Meal" on the life of drug addicts and homosexuals. Burroughs had a son with his second wife who died in 1981 of drugs, which prompted him to resume heroin. He died in 1997 at his home in Kansas of a heart attack.