Category: William S. Burroughs

Easy-peasyEasy-peasy

“As soon as you get away from actual poetic forms, rhyme, meter, etc., there is no line between prose and poetry. From my way of thinking, many poets are simply lazy prose writers. I can take a page of descriptive prose and break it into lines, as I’ve done in Exterminator!, and then you’ve got a poem. Call it a poem.” — William Burroughs (interviewed by Philippe Mikriammos in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Spring 1984, Vol. 4.1)

How novel is it?How novel is it?

“What we call the ‘novel’ is a highly artificial form, which came in the nineteenth century. It’s quite as arbitrary as the sonnet. And that form had a beginning, a middle, and an end; it has a plot, and it has this chapter structure where you have one chapter, and then you try to leave the person in a state of suspense, and on to the next chapter, and people are wondering what happened to this person, and so forth. That nineteenth-century construction has become stylized as the novel, and anyone who writes anything different from that is accused of being unintelligible.” — William Burroughs (interviewed by Philippe Mikriammos in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Spring 1984, Vol. 4.1)