Saturday, June 7, 2014

Jesse Walker on William Burroughs

William Burroughs

William Burroughs, a brilliant artist and a repugnant person, gets an article from Jesse Walker in the form of a long book review of the Barry Miles biography. Even as I dislike Burroughs, I feel like I ought to finally try one of his books. Excerpt of Walker's review:

Miles' biography is one of those doorstops full of details that may be diverting for readers already interested in the subject but aren't likely to engross anyone else. Virtually every available fact about Burroughs' life is here, from his favorite sexual position to what he liked to eat for breakfast. Where a firm fact isn't available, we get well-documented speculations. Being a Burroughs fan myself, I enjoyed it, to the extent that it's possible to enjoy a book that paints such an unflattering portrait of a writer whose work I admire. The fact that Miles clearly likes Burroughs and is doing his best to put a positive spin on things just makes the effect worse.

Arthur Hlavaty is similarly ambivalent.


3 comments:

Eric Wagner said...

You might enjoy the very short collection of essays "Roosevelt after Inauguration." Man, could he write. I suspect you would also enjoy "Naked Lunch."

Eric Wagner said...

You might enjoy the very short collection of essays "Roosevelt after Inauguration." Man, could he write. I suspect you would also enjoy "Naked Lunch."

fyreflye said...

Judging an artist by whether his unsupported biases agree with our unsupported biases is
no way to read him. Often it's those who drive us up the wall that have the most to offer.