Burroughs, William S.

Burroughs, William S. – (1919–1997) American writer and performer whose correspondence with Allen Ginsberg about ayahuasca or yagé was published as The Yagé Letters in 1963. This was 12 years after he traveled in South America to find a cure for his morphine addiction, possibly inspired by his accidental killing of his commonlaw wife and fellow addict Joan Vollmer. Burroughs’s description of the effects of yagé, including the sensation of flight and journeying to a “place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum,” have influenced many later Westerners, especially psychonauts or Cyberian shamans.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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