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I am reading a biography of W.S. Burroughs: Literary Outlaw. The writer worked closely with Burroughs and it shows. The down side is that the work does not, yet anyway, include the real thoughts of the biographer. It reads like it was written cautiously, to please a cantankerous old man.

And cantankerous he no doubt was, perhaps always, not just when he was older.

One of Burroughs' "early revelations": women are either evil or useless.

Another: there is a type of honesty and honor "among thieves" that is not found in polite society.

Yes, I think he deluded himself, saw things in rather a black-and-white way. Rather like my father did.

Burroughs' mother was cold, distant, and his father not particularly approachable either. An early nanny apparently sexually abused little Billy. But Burroughs insisted that his homosexuality had nothing to do with these things, that he was born this way. There is no way to prove it one way or the other.

The writer also tends to write in an almost-schoolboyish way, not quite fully developed. I wonder if this is an affectation of sorts or what.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2002 06:33 pm (UTC)
I think it very odd when someone asserts that they were 'born that way' - it only makes sense if they could remember their v. early infancy! i think that it is a coping strategy so as not to need to think/feel about actual events in one's life.

I'm reminded of a meeting at the SM Bisexuals groups few years ago. A brief talk was given by a psychology PhD. It wasn't very interesting and was followed by a discussion on the origin of SM sex in persons' lives. I remember a guy stating very forcefully 'I was born an SMer and I will die an SMer'. This struck me at the time as both strange and absurd. I later learnt that when he appeared with marks on his face it was not because he was into SM boxing, but because he would gouge out his cheeks with finger nails. Someone it seemed to me that his remark was to attempt both to deny that there was something pathological in him and to own it, affrim it, something like that.

This leads on to my ex and to my mother - but I will leave that for my jrn.
Dec. 2nd, 2002 09:15 pm (UTC)
hmmm. Sounds like we may have a little more in common than we may have thought...I'll leave it at that for now, because a lot of people read this...

Dec. 2nd, 2002 11:19 pm (UTC)
It is possible to create custom 'friends' groups so that a post can only be seen by specified people. I have just looked at the FAQ re. this, but it seems to go round in circles. So I don't know how.

At the risk of insulting people: there seems to be an inverse corrlelation between the ability to do code and to communicate it in ordinary language. But then, I suppose that in that case i should volunteer my services to LJ to write better instructions. But right now that would be yet another diversion from the pressing material needs of my life!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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