William S. Burroughs Quotes

A collection of quotes by William S. Burroughs.

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) was an American writer and artist, best known as one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Burroughs came from a prominent family and pursued a conventional education, earning a degree in English literature. However, his life took a drastic turn when he moved to New York City in the 1940s and became deeply involved in the bohemian and countercultural scenes.

Burroughs was highly experimental in his writing style and explored themes of addiction, homosexuality, and the dark underbelly of society. His most famous work, "Naked Lunch" (1959), challenged literary conventions and was initially banned in the United States for its explicit content. Burroughs' unconventional approach extended beyond his writing, as he also experimented with various art forms, including painting and collage.

In addition to his literary achievements, Burroughs was known for his collaboration with other prominent Beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Together, they contributed to the development of the Beat Generation, a literary movement that critiqued societal norms and embraced spontaneity, freedom, and rebellion.

Throughout his life, Burroughs battled drug addiction and experienced various personal tragedies, including the accidental killing of his wife. Despite these challenges, his work continued to receive critical acclaim, and he became an influential figure amongst countercultural movements well beyond the Beat Generation. Today, Burroughs is remembered as a visionary artist who pushed the boundaries of literature and challenged societal conventions.