He has spent 30 years trying to write his way out of the human condition and must finally accept that it cannot be done. He has come to the end of words.
No matter how depressed he was, no matter how grim London seemed, no matter how friendless and alone he felt, there was one thing that Burroughs always managed to do and that was write. To sit down at his desk and peck away at his typewriter in a drugged or trancelike state was more than a professional activity – it was a lifeline, an absolute necessity, a way of connecting with world, a way of fleeing from the world into fantasy, and a way of reconstructing the world according to Burroughs.
He came to think of book reviewers as people who come onto a battlefield after the battle is over to finish off the wounded.
Joan’s idea of a good time was to go to Child’s at 110th Street and Broadway and sip kummel and have deep conversations about Plato and Kant while listening to classical music. Or she would spend the entire morning in the bathtub, with bubble-bath up to her chin, reading Proust.
He estimates that his father’s small share in the company, had he held on to it, would today be worth about $20 million, adding: ‘Twenty million reasons not to write.’ For it is his conviction that wealth stifles the creative impulse.