William S. Purroughs

December 23, 2011

A few weeks ago I bought a copy of The Cat Inside by William S. Burroughs. I’ve never been a fan of his work but it was a book about cats and it was 25 cents. Plus, if it turned out to be terrible, it was a hardback, probably out-of-print, book by William S. Burroughs which I could sell on the Internet for a profit of at least another 25 cents.

It turns out I may have been wrong about Mr. Burroughs. The delightful little book has me questioning if I’d been wrong to unceremoniously lump him in with Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski as a writer who cannot be enjoyed by anyone over the age of twenty-five.

Twenty-three if they are not stoned.

But I could have been wrong. These short, touching, insightful, creative, sardonic essays on the ownership of felines is, after all, the only example of his work I’ve ever read.

And I’ve really been enjoying them as I evacuate my bowels on the toilet. One or two are just the right length for the job and several can be combined if needed for a longer session.

Actually, this is the only book I’ve read by any of the four writers I’ve mentioned here.

In my mind, they’re all inexorably linked to a fifth writer: Everyone’s rite-of-passage purveyor of adolescent angst, J.D. Salinger—whom I have read.  But no one over the age of twenty-five should.

Even if they’re stoned.

But I’m beginning to suspect the link is, in fact, exorable. Perhaps I will exorcise it in the new year.

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