Last night I saw a documentary about the life of William S. Burroughs who was famous for all the things one should not be famous for; he shot his wife, he was queer and he spent most of his life addicted to heroin. He also wrote several books and along with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac birthed the famed and subversive beat poet movement.
In 1951 after being busted a second time for narcotics he and his wife moved to Mexico City. It was there that Burroughs, in a drunken game of William Tell, accidently shot and killed his wife. Not one to express emotion Burroughs exiled himself to Morocco and spent till 1959 writing the book "Naked Lunch". Filled with scenes of male prostitutes, strangulation during sex and ejaculating penises it was banned in the United States until it was heard by the Supreme Court in a famous first amendment trial in 1966. After winning the trial the book was widely published and made William Burroughs an instant cult hero.
Many people will remember that one of Burroughs methods for writing was the use of cutting up segments and then re-forming them into poetry. Later in life he developed another technique that wasn't so successful or known. Out in his yard he would place a can of spray paint in front of a canvas then step back several feet and shoot a hole in the can releasing the paint onto the canvas. Apparently Burroughs always had a great love of guns...
In the final scene of the movie there is a note written by Burroughs simply saying "Love - the most natural painkiller there is".
Thanks for reading... Yona C. Riel
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