William S. Burroughs Shopping Lists

On EBay, someone is selling a couple shopping lists written by William S. Burroughs. I have no idea how this person came to own these items, or why they were saved, but I’m glad they’re around. Shopping lists are truly ephemeral items; I don’t know a single person who crafts them with any intention of hanging on to them. But are they any less important than some of the other things that people are more likely to save? They’re a transactional record of sorts; documenting the material items that you have an immediate need for. I can learn much more about a person from their shopping lists than from their electric bills or whatever. Sometimes it’s the records that we never intend on keeping that are more revelatory of our true selves than the ones we consciously archive.

Apparently, Burroughs loved cats, tea, and waffles, and was perhaps a bit of a germaphobe.

Link via Boing Boing.


2 thoughts on “William S. Burroughs Shopping Lists

  1. I love shopping lists. I pick them up whenever I find discarded ones at the grocery store, and do I ever wish I had the mad money to buy this one!

  2. Yeah, that’s some truly mad mad money isn’t it? :) I just couldn’t help but wonder if this had been authenticated, but it just seems too random to even bother with making a fake….

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