Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Why I write

From an Interview with William Burroughs:

I met Alex [Alexander Trocchi] on a plane, going to the literary conference in Edinburgh in 1962. That was a conference organised by John Calder, who came over to Paris and persuaded me to go. We both got there and they handed us some money, you know, sort of spending money.

They handed us some money. Says it all really. And this, my friends, my chums, mes semblables, is what its all about. This is why we destroy our health breathing cold air in damp houses, develop hunches from bad postures over typewriters, keyboards, notebooks on knees in the low overhead light glow of aircraft passing over your house while you sleep well. For: ' ... you know, sort of spending money.'

I want the fame. I want to see the friend nudging her companion from the corner of my eye .. Isn't that? Yes, yes it is. And I'm gone. You saw me but you didn't get the autograph, you weren't quick enough.

But I will visit the sick, read passages to the halt, the lame and the demented. No charge. Speak inspirationally to young writers: My advice? Throw away your Strunk. (polite laughter)

But every now and again I wouldn't mind some spending money.


Jerry said...

For money??? And here all this time I thought ya did it for the chicks.

Vanda Symon said...

My husband keeps asking when he'll see some money...