William S Burroughs

10 Great Literary Late Bloomers

The literary world is forever in awe of the young writers, the wunderkinds, the 20 under 40, the 5 under 35, the 30 under 30. But many authors published their first major work later in life.… Read More

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Photos of Famous Authors Reading Famous Books

“If you want to be a writer,” Stephen King tells us at the beginning of his classic craft book On Writing, “you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” We think it’s pretty fair to say that King has done both — and so have most other famous authors. After all, that’s how they got there. But what do they read? We scoured the web to find pictures of a few of our favorite authors reading — and from what we can tell, they spend a lot of time reading their own books (or at least a lot of time being photographed reading them). After the jump, check out a few famous authors reading, whether their own books or other writers’, and if you have a cool photo we missed, add to our collection in the comments! … Read More

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Awesome Photos of Writers Hanging Out Together

There’s something strangely inspiring about photographs of visionaries in the same room — we don’t know quite what it is, but the idea of (what we imagine to be) a profound meeting of minds captured on film always manages to get us excited. To that end, we put together a collection of some very excellent photographs of awesome musicians hanging out together a couple of months ago, but it’s not just musical types who like to gather in inspiring combinations. Writers, it seems, also enjoy each other’s company (whatever they might say to the contrary). Click through to see our photo roundup of writers hanging out with other writers, with a hat tip to the wonderful Tumblr Awesome People Hanging Out Together for inspiration and a few of the shots. … Read More

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Watch William S. Burroughs Make “Shotgun Art”

As an unbelievably ignorant propaganda video from an anti-gun control group recently reminded us, William S. Burroughs loved guns. He loved them so much that he used one to accidentally kill his wife, Joan Vollmer, in a drunken attempt to mimic William Tell back in 1951 that renders any romanticizing of his gun-toting persona foolish at best. Thankfully, later in life, Burroughs’ romance with firearms manifested in less harmful stunts. Open Culture has tracked down a fantastically lo-fi video of the author making “shotgun art” — setting up cans of spray paint in front of plywood planks and then shooting them to create a random explosions of color. Does this game really qualify as art? We’ll leave that up to you. Watch Burroughs in the act below, and see some of the finished works here. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we saw photos of New York gang the Reapers during the 1970s. We spotted spray-painted pigeons. We learned how one woman in a wheelchair takes a dip in the pool. We looked at stunning new photos of Saturn. We got tips on how to ride… Read More

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Wonderful Photographs of Famous People Snapped By Their Famous Friends

It’s well known that famous people often run in packs (rat, brat), and we’ve even heard rumors that they do normal things like hang out and take pictures of their friends. Since we’re obsessed with the ephemera of pop culture, we spent some time tracking down a few of those snapshots, whether staged or candid, rare or widely recognized, taken by everyone from Truman Capote to Lady Gaga. Click through to see our gallery of photographs of famous people snapped by their famous friends, and you may just begin evaluating your own photo albums for potential stars after you’re through. … Read More

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Read William Burroughs’ Trollish Open Letter to Truman Capote

Today brings an exciting new addition to our author-on-author insults collection courtesy of a rather nasty letter that William Burroughs wrote to Truman Capote in 1970, following the publication of In Cold Blood. His issue? Burroughs felt that Capote — who, it’s worth noting, he didn’t like all that much in… Read More

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Joshua Landsman’s Sketchbook Odes to His Favorite Authors

We’ve all felt moved to scribble by our favorite writers or books from time to time — or at least, we know we have. But Joshua Landsman’s “Writers I Have Loved” project, which we spotted over at Imprint, takes that impulse and runs with it. Landsman keeps a gorgeous notebook filled with excellent drawings, musings and quotations from some of his favorite authors, from Samuel Beckett to Flaubert. But it’s not only gushing adulations and loving portraiture — Landsman also puts to paper the books that drove him to defenestration, and steps back far enough to consider the Google search results for William Gaddis. All in all, we think it’s a wonderful ode to the reading life, and we can’t help but feel inspired (again) to start up a little notebook of our own. But for now, click through to see some of our favorite pages from Landsman’s project, and then head here to see even more of his work. … Read More

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10 Essential Surrealist Books for Everyone

Shane Jones knows a little bit about surrealism. In his first novel, Light Boxes, the inhabitants of a tiny town fought against perpetual February — and in his wonderful and hallucinatory new novel, Daniel Fights a Hurricane, the weather has only gotten meaner — and the people stranger. Because we’re so consistently bewitched by his work, we asked Jones to curate a list of essential surrealist reads for us, so we can pass the time between his novels a little more easily. He writes: “My motivation here isn’t to offer a pretentious list of obscure artsy books – I could very easily do that – but to provide suggestions for books that can be easily found, tastefully devoured, and will supply a healthy shot of the weird stuff. Nothing too weird, but also nothing too easy – no mentions of Salvador Dalí or my mother’s 1960s era fairy tale pictures that hang in the living room. Here are the essential surrealist works for everyone – some old, some new, all must-reads.” We wholeheartedly concur. … Read More

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Video of the Day: If ‘Reading Rainbow’ Did ‘Naked Lunch’

If we had one complaint about LeVar Burton’s wonderful Reading Rainbow, it would be that the show never took full advantage of its potentially tripped-out rainbow motif. Well, except in that one episode where Burton, apparently on some substance or another, chases butterflies, teaches us about insects, and introduces the kiddies to the weird world of William S. Burroughs’ heroin opus Naked Lunch. OK, so it’s not a real Reading Rainbow episode — but it is a rather clever mash-up of the show and David Cronenberg’s 1991 film adaptation of the novel. Watch Andre Perkowski’s video below, and never hear the words “I can go twice as high” the same way again. … Read More

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