Tag Archives: William S Burroughs

See What I’m Saying

First sentence of William Burroughs’ The Wild Boys: “The camera is the eye of a cruising vulture flying over an area of scrub, rubble and unfinished buildings on the outskirts of Mexico City.” Burroughs thinks in pictures and his books … Continue reading

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William Burroughs and Facts

William Burroughs tells Allen Ginsberg: “I am about to annunciate a philosophy called ‘factualism.’ All arguments, all nonsensical considerations as to what people ‘should do,’ are irrelevant. Ultimately there is only facts on all levels, and the more one argues, … Continue reading

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Notes on William Burroughs to Allen Ginsberg May 5th, 1951

In a letter to Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs seems to be saying that he’s incapable of envy. Envy arises from a particular kind of ignorance, of which Burroughs has cured himself: “Envy and resentment is only possible when you can … Continue reading

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Identifying Things

Identification, says Korzybski, is a blunt tool. Language is a box full of tools, all imperfect, none quite fit for purpose, their functioning performative and never exactly descriptive. Meaning: anything we can say about the world is never quite how … Continue reading

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Notes on The Soft Machine Chapter 10: “Last Hints”

This chapter is about Carl continuing his travels through space and time by finding a new body. He’s back in the city of catwalks and ladders and cable-cars in the middle of a jungle. Presumably he’s already changed bodies at … Continue reading

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Lessons from Los Alamos

Albert James Connell ran the Los Alamos Ranch school, which William S. Burroughs attended when he was a boy. “Many of Connell’s ideas were taken on board by Burroughs, such as that there was no such thing as an accident: … Continue reading

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Burroughs and the Bad Cop

Recently I read The Manhunter by John Pascucci. I bought a copy because it’s one of the last books William Burroughs read before he died. Burroughs notes in Last Words that he liked a phrase of Pascucci’s: “the plot sickened.” … Continue reading

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William S. Burroughs: Vision and Intuition

Reading Queer by William S. Burroughs, I’m struck not just by the sharp clear quality of the prose, but also by the insights themselves, the things Burroughs can see and points out to us. If he had been a worse … Continue reading

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The Myth of Burroughs

It’s no use trying to cut through the myth of William S. Burroughs to get to the truth of the man himself. The truth of Burroughs is found in the myth: “the idea of Burroughs has its own realities, its … Continue reading

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Notes on William S Burroughs’ “Ghost of Chance”

William S Burroughs’s Ghost of Chance (1995, High Risk Books) has a simple political point at the heart of it: humanity will perish if it continues at odds with nature. It’s a familiar theme. Human beings are destroying the environment … Continue reading

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