Chris Townsend

From Re­al­ity to Dig­i­tal­ity

The London Magazine - - NEWS -

corpse of a past life. Bur­roughs’s aban­don­ment of Vollmer, and the snub of her con­tri­bu­tions to the Beat men­tal­ity, trans­formed her into an­other it­er­a­tion of the Ugly Spirit. Billy’s or­phan­ing at the hands of his fa­ther did the same, sink­ing fur­ther into his cyn­i­cism be­fore his early demise.

Wil­liam Bur­roughs had sur­rounded him­self with a host of su­per­sti­tious be­liefs: Scien­tol­ogy, mys­tic prophe­cies, shaman­ism, the list goes on. They only strength­ened the grip of the Ugly Spirit. Joan Vollmer and Billy Bur­roughs Jr pos­sessed the nec­es­sary power to be Wil­liam Bur­roughs’s tan­gi­ble Ugly Spirit if they hadn’t been swept un­der the wave of Bur­roughs’s lit­er­ary ca­reer or ex­plained away by le­nient biog­ra­phers. As his overtly-com­modi­tised role in the Nike ad­vert showed, Bur­roughs twists his be­liefs and su­per­sti­tions to fit cir­cum­stance. If there’s a buck to be made at the sac­ri­fice of his in­tegrity, he’ll take the buck. If he has to en­gage his Ugly Spirit and oblit­er­ate his fam­ily in or­der es­tab­lish him­self as a writer, Bur­roughs, as he has so pal­pa­bly shown, will hap­pily pull the trig­ger.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.