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Friday, November 20, 2009

William S. Burroughs and Health

It is not irrelevant to consider your birth order when looking at your health. Indeed, people like William S. Burroughs, who was the second of two sons, generally take more risks with their life, according to birth order researchers like Frank Sulloway. The novelist's health, of course, was not optimal since he devoted nearly fifty years of his life to consuming heroin and other pernicious substances that gave him a quick thrill but that wasted his physical and emotional stamina. Many love his writing, but they generally fail to realize that he would probably have given us even more profound books than Naked Lunch had he been more abstemious and perhaps more attentive to his own physical well being. He certainly would have lived longer and written more, and that would have been a blessing to all who like his rapidfire style of blitzkreig prose. He lived in New York, which is another way of saying he was a neighbor to us all.

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