Learning The Secrets About Creations

William Seward Burroughs As a Legendary Artist

William Seward Burroughs, who also goes by his pen name, William Lee, was an American author of short stories, satires, and essays, as well as a spoken word performer and painter.

An influential figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author who concentrated on the paranoid fiction genre, he is regarded as among the 20th century’s most politically cutting, culturally powerful, and creative artists. His influence is said to have made a big impact on a stretch of popular culture along with literature. Burroughs authored six sets of short stories, four sets of essays, and eighteen novels and novellas. His interviews and correspondences have been printed in five books. He also took part in recordings and other projects with several performers and musicians, and appeared in a number of films.

Born into an affluent family in St. Louis, Missouri, he was the grandson of William Seward Burroughs, the creator and founder of the Burroughs Corporation; and the nephew of public relations manager, Ivy Lee. During his early adolescent years, Burroughs set out into journal and essay writing, but it wasn’t until his thirties that he started publicizing his works. In 1932, he left home to study at Harvard University, where he majored in English, and then anthropology as a postgraduate; and later went to Vienna to enroll in medical school. In 1942, Burroughs joined the U.S. Army for World War II, but was rejected by the Office of Strategic Services and Navy. It was at that point when he started going into drugs, an addiction that never left him for the rest of his life, in between working a range of jobs. Living in New York City in 1943, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, a friendship that eventually led to the creation of the Beat Generation, which later developed a defining influence on the 1960s counterculture.

A lot of Burroughs’s work is autobiographical in part, mainly influenced by his exploits as a heroin addict, as he lived and traveled around London, Paris, Mexico City, and Morocco, along with his experiences in the South American Amazon. In a 1951 accident, Burroughs killed his second wife, Joan Vollmer, in Mexico City, and got a conviction for manslaughter. Fueled by the success of Junkie (1953), his confessional first novel, Burroughs became a sensation after his third book, Naked Lunch (1959), an extremely controversial novel that was part of a sodomy court case in the U.S. Together with Brion Gysin, he also made the literary cut-up method greater very popular through some of his works, like The Nova Trilogy (1961-1964).

The year 1983 saw Burroughs’ election to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and just a year later, he received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres awarded by France. Jack Kerouac considered Burroughs as the best satirical writer since Jonathan Swift, a reputation made by his eternal subversion of modern America’s political, economic and moral systems, conveyed in usually darkly funny sardonicism.