Saturday, October 10, 2009
William Burroughs published his seminal work in October 1959, in Paris, where novels of this sort were usually published. Then to be smuggled back into England and the U.S. in the suitcases of graduates of the Sorbonne, and young women who had gone to France to "be finished." I have a feeling, though, that the last of the Beat novelists would have blushed at some of the passages in Updike and Roth. Despite looking as if he'd slept the previous night in a seedy hotel, Burroughs was an heir to the Burroughs Adding Machine fortune. He was 45 when he published Naked Lunch. He traveled everywhere with a notebook in which he recorded the things he was doing, reading and thinking in separate columns. In 1994, when he was 80, he did a TV commercial for Nike. Burroughs appears six times in A Book of Ages.