My favorite Burroughs books are the more traditional narratives: I like Junky, Queer, and, especially, Exterminator! The cut-up novels tend to lose me unless I'm staring, white-knuckled, at the page. And Burroughs is a challenging figure. You really shouldn't write about the man's legacy without bringing up the death of Joan Vollmer, which in a sick way has added to his outlaw mystique. And like Bukowski, it's hard to separate the man's work from the work of later generations who are "inspired" to write awful, nonsensical drivel about drugs and sex.
This is a shitty celebratory post, in part because there's a lot about Burroughs that I don't want to celebrate. What do you think?