To the editor:
William Burroughs is not a good role model for young people and his life and works should not be honored or celebrated in any way. Burroughs had a lifelong addiction to opiates — first morphine and later heroin — and actively promoted drug use. He murdered his common-law wife in Mexico for which he was convicted in absentia for culpable homicide after fleeing that country. In 1949, he became an international gay playboy using his grandfather’s fortune. He molested underage boys in Morocco and became a sex offender.
His book, “Junkie,” a semi-autobiographical novel glamorizing drug use, has little literary value critics say. Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch” is a fragmentary collection of “routines” using a cut-up and fold-in technique. Critics question the technique and its literary value and many claim it is simply gibberish. Writer Lynn Snowden Picket accurately describes Burroughs’ books as “phantasmagorias of buggered boys, bloody syringes, talking a-holes, and vaginal teeth.” Ironically a city park and trail popular with Lawrence children is named after a sex offender. We can do better than that.