To some, William Burroughs is the ultimate, postmodernist genius. His most famous work, The Naked Lunch, published in 1959 is an account of his own time experimenting with various mind-bending pharmacological substances and local young men in North Africa. No subject is taboo for Burroughs in this, or any of his works, and as a result he frequently fought censorship battles. Burroughs was never far from controversy, but nor was he far from adulation.
It is Burroughs' literary style (if that is the right terminology) that makes him so unique. His non-linear approach to writing meant that plots and events were literally cut up and pasted into a different order and chronology. This led to work that was radically different from anything seen before. For fans of his books, this approach is part of the reason he is awarded such iconic status and why many great writers see him as a genius, far ahead of his time.
Burroughs' notoriety and ardent fan base make him a thoroughly intriguing author. For collectors wanting to be part of his sub-culture, first editions of The Naked Lunch frequently exceed $1,000 dollars at auction, with inscribed editions occasionally reaching nearer $4,000. His debut work, Junkie, published in 1953 can attain prices in excess of $1,200.
Burroughs' work both benefit and suffer from his own cult status and controversial themes. While the subjects of his books (drugs, death, sex, talking anuses, more drugs) may shock a wide demographic, for perhaps this very reason, his fans assure him a place in the literary pantheon .
Burroughs, William. Junkie. Ace Books (1953). Confessions Of An Unredeemed Drug Addict; 2 Novels Back-To-Back In One Book: Junkie By William Burroughs (Writing As William Lee) And Narcotic Agent By Maurice Helbrant; 113,000 Copies.
Burroughs, William. The Naked Lunch. Olympia Press (1959). First Edition, First Issue With Original Price OfFrance 1500; 3 Volumes; Along With Kerouacs On The Road And Ginsbergs Howl; Published Only In Paperback In Paris By Maurice Girodias; 5000 Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Minutes to Go. The English Bookshop (1960). Collection Of Writings By William Burroughs, Sinclair Beiles, Gregory Corso And Brion Gysin; 1000 Copies.
Burroughs, William S. The Exterminator. Auerhahn Press (1960). Illustration By Brion Gysin With Calligraphic Drawings
Burroughs, William S. The Soft Machine. The Olympia Press (1961). Black White And Pink Dust Jacket Designed By Brion Gysin.
Burroughs, William S. Naked Lunch. Grove Press (1962). Dust Jacket Without Roman Numeral Next To Rear Spine And Without Zip Code In Publishers Address; 3500 Copies; Includes BurroughsLetter From A Master Addict To Dangerous Drugs,.
Burroughs, William S. The Ticket That Exploded. The Olympia Press (1962). First Issue Green Paperback Binding With18 N.F. Printed On Rear Cover, In The Pictorial Dj; 5000 Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Dead Fingers Talk. John Calder (1963). 4000 Copies In Association With Olympia Press
Burroughs, William S. The Ticket That Exploded. Olympia Press (1963). Ted Joans and Brion Gysin
Burroughs, William S. Le Festin Nu. Gallimard (1964). First French Language Edition Of Naked Lunch, Limited To 4,000 Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Nova Express. Grove Press (1964). Final Volume Of The Nova Trilogy.
Burroughs, William S. Roosevelt After Inauguration. Fuck You Press (1964). ByWilly Lee Alias; Design By Allen Ginsberg, Mimeographed Throughout, Printed On Pink, White And Blue Paper; 500 Copies.
Burroughs, William S. The Naked Lunch. John Calder (1964). First Uk Edition
Burroughs, William S. Time. C Press (1965). Illustrated By Brion Gysin; Stapled, Collaged Wrappers, With 4 Drawings By Gysin; Limited Edition Of 100 Signed By Both Burroughs And Gysin; Total 886 Trade Edition Copies.
Burroughs, William S. The Soft MacHine. Grove Press (1966). Jacket Blurbs By Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac And John Ciardi.
Burroughs, William S. The Ticket That Exploded. Grove Press (1967). First Issue Of The American Edition (Expanded And Rearranged From The Original 1962 Publication);First Printing (Title Page Verso).
Burroughs, William S. La machine molle. Bourgois (1968). The Soft Machine; Traduit De Lamericain Par Mary Beach; Adaptation De Claude Pelieu; 15 Press Numbered Copies - The Large Paper Issue Printed On Special Paper; There Were Also 7 Copies Marked Hc.
Burroughs, William S. Some of It. Knullar (1969). Edited By David Mairowit; Special Introduction By William S. Burroughs; Contributions From Allen Ginsberg; Burroughs, Sartre, Pete Townshend, Kevin Ayers, Buckminster Fuller.
Burroughs, William S. The Job. Cape (1970). Interview Between Beat Writer William Burroughs And Daniel Odier.
Burroughs, William S. The Last Words of Dutch Schultz. Cape Golliard Press (1970). Illustration By R. B. Kitaj; 100 Copies.
Burroughs, William S. The Electronic Revolution. Blackmoor Head Press, Cambridge (1971). Cover Design By Brion Gysin With Two Signed Silkscreens By Gysin; Layout By Henri Chopin; Total 500 Copies Including 50 Deluxe Copies.
Burroughs, William S. The Wild Boys. Calder and Boyars (1972). A Book Of The Dead;
Burroughs, William S. Exterminator. Viking (1973). A Novel (A Richard Seaver Book); Notable For Lower Jacket Cover Blurbs By Marshall Mcluhan, Norman Mailer And Terry Southern; 7500 Copies;First Printing On Title Page Verso.
Burroughs, William S. Junkie. David Bruce and Watson Ltd. (1973). Foreword By Carl Solomon; 1500 Copies.
Burroughs William S. White Subway. Aloes Books (1973). Introduction By Paul Bowles; Limited To 1000 Copies Including 25 Numbered Copies Signed By Burroughs.
Burroughs, William S. The Book Of Breething. OU, Henri Chopin, Ingatestone, Essex (1974). Le Livre Des Respirations; Het Boek Der Ademhalingen; Drawings By Bob Gale; Jean Chopin Has Translated William S. Burroughs Text Into French, And Jo Verbrugghen Has Translated The Text Into Dutch; Total 400 Copies; 50 Deluxe Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Sidetripping. Strawberry Hill (1975). Photographs By Charles Gatewood.
Burroughs, William S. The Last Words of Dutch Schultz. Viking Press (1975). A Fiction In The Form Of A Film Script.
Burroughs, William S. The New Reformers. Le Colloque de Tanger, Geneva (1975). Photo Collage By Francois Lagarde Of Burroughs And Gysins Heads Superimposed On The Torsos Of Two Statues (Martin Luther And Friend) In Geneva; 50 Numbered Copies.
Burroughs, William S. The Yage Letters. City Lights (1975). Allen Ginsberg
Burroughs, William S. Cobble Stone Gardens. Cherry Valley Editions, Cherry Valley (1976). black and white Photos.
Burroughs, William S. Le Colloque De Tanger. Christian Bourgois Editeur (1976). William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Gerard-Georges Lemaire, Gaetan Brulotte, Philippe Mikriammos, Marc Dachy, Ariel Denis; Including A Brief Essay By Gerard-Georges Lemaire And A Statement Of Limitation, Signed By Burroughs, Gysin, Lemaire And Lagarde; 75 Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Letters to Allen Ginsberg 1953-1957. Full Court Press, Geneva (1978). Edited By James Grauerholz; Total Copies; 400 Numbered Copies.
Burroughs, William S. The Third Mind. Viking Press (1978). And Brion Gysin.
Burroughs, William S. Where Naked Troubadours Shoot Snotty Baboons. Lord John Press, Northridge (1978). Total 126 Signed Copies; 26 Lettered Copies; Illustrator James Silke. Broadside Poem.
Burroughs, William S. William S. Burroughs. University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville (1978). A Bibliography; Unlocking Inspector Lees Word Hoard; A Linton R. Massey Descriptive Bibliography; Foreword By Burroughs; Introduction By Allen Ginsberg; 50 Numbered Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Blade Runner. Blue Wind Press, Berkeley (1979). 100 Signed And Numbered Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Doctor Benway. Bradford Morrow, Santa Barbara (1979). A Variant Passage From The Naked Lunch; New Introduction By Burroughs; 324 Signed Copies; 150 Numbered Copies And 26 Lettered Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Port of Saints. Blue Wind Press, Brerkely (1980). 200 Signed Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Early Routines. Cadmus Editions, Santa Barbara (1981). Cover Photo By David Hockney; Sewn And Bound By Bela Blau And Designed By Graham Mackintosh; Total 474 Signed Copies; 126 Numbered Copies And 26 Lettered Copies.
Burroughs, William S. The Streets of Chance. Red Ozier Press (1981). Illustrated By Howard Buchwald; 160 Signed And Numbered Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Letters to Allen Ginsberg. Full Court Press (1982). Waldman, Anne (Editor); Prefaces By Both Burroughs And Ginsberg; 100 Signed Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Naked Lunch. Grove Press (1984). 25Th Anniversary Edition; Introduction By Jennie Skerl; 500 Signed Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Queer. Viking Press (1985). $14.95 Price On Dj Flap
Burroughs, William S. The Cat Inside. Grenfell Press (1986). Eight Drawings By Brion Gysin Printed By Hand In 2 Colors; Total Edition Of 133 Copies; 18 Roman-Numeraled Copies Printed On Crisbrook Paper, Specially Bound And Signed By Burroughs And Gysin.
Burroughs, William S. Interzone. Viking Press (1989). Edited By James Grauerholz.
Burroughs, William S. Ghost of Chance. Whitney Museum of American Art (1991). Written By William S. Burroughs; Illustrated By George Condo; Edition Was Designed By Leslie Miller And Organized By May Castleberry; Printed By Hand On Hahnemahle Etching Paper By Leslie Miller; 3 Original Lithographs And 11 Tipped-In Etchings By George Condo; Bound By Claudia Cohen; 160 Copies.
Burroughs, William S. Naked Lunch. Twentieth Century Fox, Beverly Hills (1991). Press Kit; 13 Photographs Including One With William Burroughs.
Burroughs, William S. The Seven Deadly Sins. Lococo Mulder (1991). Design and Production By Edward M. Vernon; 7 Multicolor Images Created By Burroughs Using A Shotgun And A Portrait Of Burroughs Shooting By Robert Mapplethorpe; 150 Signed And Numbered Copies.