Entitled Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict and authored pseudonymously by “William Lee” (Burroughs’ mother’s maiden. Junkie by William Lee – book cover, description, publication history. Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict (Junky) A novel by William Lee ( William S. New York: Ace Books, No. D First Edition, a paperback original. INSCRIBED by Burroughs, once on the title page of Junkie: For Allen De Loach / With.

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1914: William S. Burroughs – Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict

With his anomic inclinations and his Mandarin intellect, he was in a paradoxical position vis a vis the coming cultural revolution of the s. The Definitive Text of “Junk” Author s: His own words tell us that he is a fugitive from the addit that he has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, paranoid; that he is totally without moral values. In a letter to Allen Ginsberg who had worried that the book constituted a justification of Burroughs’ addictionhe inveighed: It starts where I first make contact with junk, and it ends where no more contact is possible.

As for the text itself, it reads today as fresh and unvarnished as it ever has. The definitive text of ‘Junk’ Finished reading: With Junkyalso spelled JunkieWilliam S. This article does not cite any sources. Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa wrote that while he did not care for Burroughs’s subsequent experimental fiction, he admired the more straightforward Junky both on its own merits and further as “an accurate description of what I believe to be the literary vocation”; i.

Burroughs on the Road Corso: Numerous reprints of the book appeared in the s and s once Burroughs achieved notability with Naked Lunchwith the work now credited under his real name. Burroughs’ own conception of himself was essentially fictional, and it’s not superfluous to observe that before he began to write with any fixity he had already become a character in other writers’ works, most notably in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.

The Penguin edition also includes an appreciation of Junky written by Alan Ginsbergbesides a glossary, letters and excerpts which were cut from the original manuscript, such as a long passage about Wilhelm Reich ‘s theory of “orgones”, etc in six appendices.


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From double book to stand alone; from Ace Original to Penguin Modern Classic; from unredeemed confession to cult novel; from a cheap shocker to a refined taste — the history of this text in a strange way acts as an allegory of the way the heroin subculture Burroughs depicted has mutated, spread and engrafted itself with the corpus of the wider society, in the process irretrievably altering that on which it parasitises.

This is the unadulterated, unglamorous, unthrilling life of the drug addict. Coke hit my head, a pleasant dizziness and tension, while the morphine spread through my body in relaxing waves. Besides encouraging Burroughs to write, he worked as editor and agent as the manuscript was written in Mexico City.

William Burroughs – the original Junkie | Books | The Guardian

Loading comments… Trouble loading? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. His first published work, it drhg semi-autobiographical and focuses on Burroughs’ life as a drug user and dealer.

New English Library Ltd Availability: Wynwho owned Ace Books. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. For Burroughs, the re-evaluation was both discount and markup, unreeemed perhaps it was this that made him such a great avatar of the emergent counterculture. David Bruce and Watson Availability: The story takes on a more personal tone when the narrator leaves New York.

Junkie by William Lee

Although it was long considered Burroughs’ first novel, he had in fact several years earlier completed a manuscript called And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks with Kerouac, but unredeemev work would remain unpublished in its entirety until In a thin-as-a-rake’s progress that saw him move from America to Mexico, to Morocco, to France, to Britain, back to New York, and eventually to small-town Kansas, Burroughs was in flight either from the consequences of his chemical dependency, or seeking to avoid the drugs he craved.

There has never been a criminal confession better calculated to discourage imitiation by thrilling hungry teen-agers. Burroughspublished initially under the pseudonym William Lee in The introduction by Oliver Harris provides many interesting details about the publication history of Junky including the various suggested titles and publishers’ deliberations rejecting Burroughs ‘ confezsions title.


Yet, were De Quincey wrote in the vein of dream-phantasy, ‘Junkie’ is pitilessly factual and hard-boiled.

First, because I think an understanding of the milieu within which Burroughs and Vollmer operated, and the nature of their life together, is essential in disentangling the post hoc mythologising of the writer and his life from the very grim reality of active drug addiction that constitutes the action of Junky. Assuming that Burroughs ‘ assertion that many facts, descriptions of feelings, etc are factual and truthful, Junky would be an excellent guide to better understand the world of “junk” and “junk users”, as Burroughs calls it.

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It is way of life. William Lee the name of the author and of all persons appearing in this book are disguised is an unrepentant, unredeemed drug addict.

When I say Burroughs himself must have regarded the illustration — if he thought of it at all — as evidence of the magical universe he conceived of as underpinning and interpenetrating our own, it is because the first draft of the book was completed in the months immediately preceding his killing of Vollmer on 6 September in Mexico City. Certainly, the hypothesis of murderous impulsiveness squares better with the impromptu “William Tell act” whereby he called upon Vollmer to place a glass upon her head, which he would then shoot off than his own bewilderment in the face of an act of such cruel stupidity and fatal rashness.

William Burroughs – the original Junkie

Burroughs Authors William S. About Junky by William S. Naked Scientology The Adding Machine: However, in the Prologue Burroughs gives an all but sketchy impression of his life leading up to his life as a “junk”.