William S Burroughs

The Horrifying Love Lives of Famous Authors

In the abstract, everyone would like to fall in love with a famous writer. It holds out the promise of fabulous love letters and, if one is very lucky, immortalization as the subject of a super-romantic poem. I mean, Keats’ beloved Fanny Brawne really lucked out, I think, with “Bright star, bright star / would I were as steadfast as thou art.” I would be thrilled if someone would write that about me. … Read More

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50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers

Maybe it’s a Pavlovian response to years of schooling, or that the brisk weather affords more hours inside, or something else entirely, but the fact is this: November seems like the time to take on the heftiest reading on your list. And let’s face the facts: some books are only for the toughest readers on the block, your Sylvester Stallones of literature, as it were. So for those of you who count yourself tough, here’s a list of books for you: some absurdly long, some notoriously difficult, some with intense or upsetting subject matter but blindingly brilliant prose, some packed into formations that require extra effort or mind expansion, and some that fit into none of those categories, but are definitely for tough girls (or guys)… Read More

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The Books Flavorwire Staffers Read Too Early

Earlier this week, writer Matthue Roth published My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs, a collection of Kafka stories re-told for children. This is a brilliant idea, since anyone exposed to Kafka at a young age is likely to grow up stranger and better — even if it’s only a form of Kafka. Here at the Flavorwire office, the book sparked a few conversations about age-appropriate reading, and more than one story about a great book read too early. Some of us still have the scars. After the jump, check out the literary regrets of a selection of staffers who read the classics much too early, and then let us know which non-age-appropriate read still haunts you in the comments. … Read More

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The Craziest Advice From Famous People

This week, we stumbled across this amazing video of William S. Burroughs doling out some highly questionable advice to young people. As you might have noticed, we’re pretty big fans of collating advice from cultural icons here at Flavorwire — but the advice those cultural icons give isn’t always totally sound (or maybe it is, we don’t judge). After the jump, we’ve put together a collection of some of the craziest advice from famous people. Whether you listen or not is up to you. … Read More

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30 Behind-the-Scenes Monster Movie Photos That Will Blow Your Mind

Because it came out in the ‘90s and now people old enough to remember it are running websites, a lot of Internet ink has been spilled recently over the 20th anniversary of The Sandlot, writer/director David Mikey Evans’s 1993 remembrance of baseball, boyhood friends, and the summer of ’62. But the most interesting discovery of all of this nostalgia bathing was the unveiling of three photos (by Mr. Evans himself) of the elaborate puppets they used to create “The Beast,” the giant English mastiff that terrifies that neighborhood kids. Looking at those images (and you can check them out after the jump), we get a little nostalgic ourselves — for a time when computers weren’t the solution for scaring an audience, leaving artists and puppeteers to create the horrifying creatures of moviedom. Let’s take a look at how it used to be done. … Read More

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Tournament of Books Organizers Pick the Winners of 12 Classic Literary Beefs

Today is the first day of The Morning News‘s epic annual Tournament of Books, an excellent and wordy alternative (or supplement) to March Madness for all us literary types. To celebrate, we asked the ToB’s organizers — the venerable Rosecrans Baldwin, Kevin Guilfoile, John Warner, and Andrew Womack — to act as judges for a few imaginary literary match-ups. Because who doesn’t want to imagine the results of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky throwing down? After the jump, find out who would win in a fight — Mailer or Vidal, Hemingway or Faulkner, Dorothy Parker or anybody, and more. Don’t agree? Argue your literary hearts out in the comments, and then be sure to get in on the real-life highbrow smackdown here. … Read More

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The Fascinating Self-Portraits of 20 Famous Authors

They say writing is a form of self-expression — but it’s not the only one. And if we had to guess, we’d bet that many of our favorite authors have a little bit more going on in their heads than the average person, so it makes sense to us that their creativity might spill out into other mediums. To that end, we’ve curated a small selection of wonderful visual self-portraits by famous authors — from scribbles to full-on oil paintings, from cheeky one-offs to serious painterly studies. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments. … Read More

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Allen Ginsberg’s Hand-Annotated Photos of the Beat Generation

Disappointed by the On the Road movie? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Luckily, NYU’s Grey Art Gallery is offering a far superior option for those in search of an inside glimpse at how the Beat Generation lived. Beginning January 15, New Yorkers can visit the gallery’s Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg to peruse a selection of 110 photos taken (and often captioned by hand) by none other than Allen Ginsberg. From a shot of Jack Kerouac’s muse, Neal Cassady, and “his love of the year” snuggling under a cinema marquee advertising a Brando triple feature to a solemn photo of William S. Burroughs at the Met, the annotated images provide a personal, visual scrapbook of Ginsberg’s life in the 1950s and beyond. Click through to preview a selection of images from the show. … Read More

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20 Excellent Photos of Famous Authors Partying

Whether they be bad boys (or bad girls), dirty old men or just legendary party animals, there’s no denying that the literary set knows how to get down. From dance parties to book parties to whatever’s going on in that car, writers are adept at letting off steam, and so this year, we thought we’d get a little New Year’s celebration inspiration from a few of our favorite authors. And hey, if you’re still trying to figure out your signature cocktail at this late hour, you can model that on your favorite writer too. After the jump, raise a glass with everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Rita Dove to Nora Ephron. Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody. … Read More

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Adorable Pictures of Famous Writers and Their Pets

A dog may be man’s best friend, but some men make better friends than others. To us, it’s always seemed as though pets attach themselves to artists (and vice versa, of course) in greater numbers than to regular folks — or at least that almost every artist we know needs a furry friend to talk to. Maybe it’s the pull of a constant, silent listener to bounce ideas against, maybe it’s because of the boundless soul of the writer, maybe it’s a coincidence. Either way, we think pictures of famous authors and their pets are pretty adorable, so we’ve collected a few of them here. See some of our favorite writers with their dogs and cats (and peacocks, guess who) after the jump, and if we missed your favorite literary pair of man and beast, add them in the comments. … Read More

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