A report on William S. Burroughs

Burroughs in the 1980s
William S. Burroughs' childhood home on Pershing Place in St. Louis
William S. Burroughs and James Grauerholz in the alley behind the Jazzhaus in Lawrence, Kansas (1996)
Burroughs and David Woodard with Brion Gysin Dreamachine, 1997

American writer and visual artist, widely considered a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodern author who influenced popular culture and literature.

- William S. Burroughs
Burroughs in the 1980s

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Allen Ginsberg

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American poet and writer.

American poet and writer.

First edition cover of Ginsberg's landmark poetry collection, Howl and Other Poems(1956)
Ginsberg with his partner, poet Peter Orlovsky. Photo taken in 1978
Portrait with Bob Dylan, taken in 1975
Allen Ginsberg greeting A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at San Francisco International Airport. January 17, 1967
The Mantra-Rock Dance promotional poster featuring Allen Ginsberg along with leading rock bands.
Allen Ginsberg, 1979
Protesting at the 1972 Republican National Convention
Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, and John C. Lilly in 1991

As a student at Columbia University in the 1940s, he began friendships with William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, forming the core of the Beat Generation.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Beat Generation

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Literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era.

Literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
A section devoted to the beat generation at a bookstore in Stockholm, Sweden

Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956), William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch (1959), and Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957) are among the best known examples of Beat literature.

Jack Kerouac by Tom Palumbo circa 1956

Jack Kerouac

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Jack Kerouac by Tom Palumbo circa 1956
Jack Kerouac's birthplace, 9 Lupine Road, 2nd floor, West Centralville, Lowell, Massachusetts
His third of several homes growing up in the West Centralville section of Lowell
Kerouac's Naval Reserve Enlistment photograph, 1943
Jack Kerouac lived with his parents for a time above a corner drug store in Ozone Park (now a flower shop), while writing some of his earliest work.
454 West 20th Street
House in College Park in Orlando, Florida where Kerouac lived and wrote The Dharma Bums
Grave in Edson Cemetery, Lowell
On the Road excerpt in the center of Jack Kerouac Alley
Jack Kerouac Alley in Chinatown, San Francisco

Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969), known as Jack Kerouac, was an American novelist and poet who, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, was a pioneer of the Beat Generation.

Cover of the 1959 Olympia first edition, with misprinted title

Naked Lunch

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Cover of the 1959 Olympia first edition, with misprinted title

Naked Lunch (sometimes The Naked Lunch) is a 1959 novel by American writer William S. Burroughs.

Brion Gysin

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British-Canadian painter, writer, sound poet, performance artist and inventor of experimental devices.

British-Canadian painter, writer, sound poet, performance artist and inventor of experimental devices.

David Woodard and William S. Burroughs stand behind Dreamachine, circa 1997

He is best known for his use of the cut-up technique, alongside his close friend, the novelist William S. Burroughs.

Grove Press

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American publishing imprint that was founded in 1947.

American publishing imprint that was founded in 1947.

Grove published most of the American Beats of the 1950s (Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg) as well as poets like Frank O'Hara of the New York School and poets associated with Black Mountain and the San Francisco Renaissance such as Robert Duncan.

Jack Kerouac and Lucien Carr (right) in 1944

Lucien Carr

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Key member of the original New York City circle of the Beat Generation in the 1940s; later he worked for many years as an editor for United Press International.

Key member of the original New York City circle of the Beat Generation in the 1940s; later he worked for many years as an editor for United Press International.

Jack Kerouac and Lucien Carr (right) in 1944

Kammerer was a childhood friend of William S. Burroughs, another scion of St. Louis wealth who knew the Carr family.

1953 Ace Double edition, credited to William Lee

Junkie (novel)

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1953 Ace Double edition, credited to William Lee
50th anniversary edition, with Burroughs' intended title spelling

Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict (originally titled Junk, later released as Junky) is a novel by American beat generation writer William S. Burroughs, initially published under the pseudonym William Lee in 1953.

The Nova Trilogy

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The Nova Trilogy or The Cut-up Trilogy is a name commonly given by critics to a series of three experimental novels by William S. Burroughs.

Cut-up technique

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Aleatory literary technique in which a written text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text.

Aleatory literary technique in which a written text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text.

The concept can be traced to at least the Dadaists of the 1920s, but was popularized in the late 1950s and early 1960s by writer William S. Burroughs.