Conversations with William S. Burroughs

Front Cover
Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 234 pages

Although a rather shy, private man, William Burroughs gave a good many interviews during his lifetime, some in prominent publications, others in obscure forums. The interviews collected here provide an aperture into the philosophies, methods, and quirks of a man who wrote Queer, Junky, Naked Lunch, Nova Express, Cities of the Red Night, My Education, and many other works.

When he died in 1997, Burroughs was likely one of the most widely recognizable figures in contemporary American literature. His image circulated on album jackets, in Nike commercials, and in films, as though proving his notion that pictures and words are viruses, invading any receptive host, taking hold, and replicating themselves.

Not surprisingly, the topics Burroughs touches upon are wide-ranging: his relationships to the Beats, legends surrounding his personal life, drugs, gay liberation, collaboration, the cut-up technique, science fiction, politics, conspiracy theory, censorship, cats, guns, David Cronenberg's movie adaptation of Naked Lunch, shotgun art, dreams, and life in Lawrence, Kansas, where he spent his last years. From these interviews emerges a full, undiluted portait of a writer who is difficult to capture in biography.

Speaking of the Paris Review interview Alfred Kazin calls Burroughs "an engineer of the pen, a calmly interested specialist of the new processes. When Burroughs makes philosophic and scientific claims for his disorderly collections of data, we happily recognize under the externally calm surface of the interview, the kind of inner frenzy that is his genius--and which, in all of us, his books make an appeal." Kazin's view applies as well for the other interviews in this collection.

Allen Hibbard is an associate professor of English and the director of graduate studies at Middle Tennessee State University. He is the author of Paul Bowles: A Study of the Short Fiction and of many articles.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

Conversations with William S. Burroughs

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

These two books reveal the breadth of Burroughs's preoccupations and literary appeal. His last journal contains 168 entries and spans from November 1996 to three days before his death in July 1997. In ... Read full review

Conversations with William S. Burroughs

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

These two books reveal the breadth of Burroughs's preoccupations and literary appeal. His last journal contains 168 entries and spans from November 1996 to three days before his death in July 1997. In ... Read full review

Contents

Interview with William Burroughs Gregory Corso
1
Rencontre avec William Burroughs Eric Mottram
11
Penthouse Interview Graham Masterton
39
Rolling Stone Interview Robert Palmer
51
The Last European Interview Philippe Mikriammos
80
Talking with William S Burroughs William Bates
90
Inside the William Burroughs Bunker Laura Delp
108
A Visit with William Burroughs
132
An Interview with William
160
An Interview with William S Burroughs Larry McCaffery
171
William Tells Michele Corriel
196
No One Gets a Free Lunch Regina Weinreich
203
Which Is the Fly and Which Is the Human? CronenbergBurroughs
209
Grandpa from Hell The L A Weekly
220
Index
227
vii
234

William S Burroughs Interview Vale
139
The Electronic Scalpel of William S Burroughs Uri Hertz
147

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information