A Rare Interview with William Burroughs


Just in time for the late, great William Burroughs’ birthday on February 5, we’re bringing you an interview by Victor Bockris, originally published in the February, 1979 issue of High Times.

After years of exile, the controversial American author of Naked Lunch and Junkie talks about Jack Kerouac, smack, out-of-body experiences, outer space, brain power future shock, fascism and the most important novel of the ’80s, his own Cities of the Red Night.

“I think,” said Norman Mailer in 1962, when the seminal American classic Naked Lunch was published, “that William Burroughs is the only living American novelist who may conceivably be possessed by genius.” Burroughs, who had been a heroin addict for 16 years prior to taking the apomorphine cure in London in 1956 (he has been off junk ever since), went on to become a major innovative force and literary bellwether, creating not only metaphors but living generations with minds of their own. Along with Dylan, Lennon, Jagger,


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