Read Last Words by William S. Burroughs Free Online
Book Title: Last Words|
The author of the book: William S. Burroughs
The size of the: 3.27 MB
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Date of issue: October 18th 2012
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 7.3
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Burroughs bows out in style with a very humanistic touch..
Burroughs' final journals are a rich, elegant, humorous and singular collage of a great mind at work..the journals are a highly original amalgam of famous quotes (the "No glot, clom Fliday" quote is finally explained for example), fleeting memories of his boyhood at Los Alamos or times in Tangier and Paris (with Brion Gysin), London, Mexico, homages to Allen Ginsberg who had just passed away and current preoccupations such as his cats or the sorry and oppressive conditions of the police state in the US.
I was surprised to learn that Burroughs believed in God. I really liked his comment that people who don' believe in ESP haven't kept their eyes open. I couldn't agree with him more - the older I get the clearer it becomes that to some extent it does exist. It was wonderful to read about WSB finding saving grace through his love of his cats and incidentally I read this book just after our beloved 25 year old cat Miichan passed away. Just like Burroughs' cat Fletch, Miichan seemed fine but then was suddenly...gone. Her presence still fills the house but the empty spaces, like Burroughs describes, where she used to be make me so sad whenever I see them and re-remember that she has gone. Therefore as you can imagine, I connected with this book on a very deep and emotional level. Knowing and reading about someone who went through a similar experience helped us somehow with the pain and sorrow you are left with when a pet dies.
Burroughs has reinterpreted the whole journals genre here. Even right at the end of his life he was still pushing boundaries in his relentless and brave pursuit of being true to himself and his art. WSB is sorely missed. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in WSB, the beats or creative people in general.
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Read information about the authorWilliam Seward Burroughs II, (also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century". His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.
He was born to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the inventor and founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studied English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and later attended medical school in Vienna. 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. 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.
Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris, Berlin, the South American Amazon and Tangier in Morocco. Finding success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), Burroughs is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a controversy-fraught work that underwent a court case under the U.S. sodomy laws. With Brion Gysin, he also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961–64). 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. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift", a reputation he owes to his "lifelong subversion" of the moral, political and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism. J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be "the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War", while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius".
Burroughs had one child, William Seward Burroughs III (1947-1981), with his second wife Joan Vollmer. Vollmer died in 1951 in Mexico City. Burroughs was convicted of manslaughter in Vollmer's death, an event that deeply permeated all of his writings. Burroughs died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas, after suffering a heart attack in 1997.
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