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Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader by William S. Burroughs, Ira Silverberg, James Grauerholz

By William S. Burroughs, Ira Silverberg, James Grauerholz

With the e-book of Naked Lunch in 1959, William Burroughs without warning introduced foreign letters into the postmodern age. starting together with his very early writing (including a bankruptcy from his and Jack Kerouac's never-before-seen collaborative novel), Word Virus follows the arc of Burroughs's notable profession, from his darkly hilarious "routines" to the experimental cut-up novels to Cities of the crimson Night and The Cat Inside. fantastically edited and complemented by way of James Grauerholz's illuminating biographical essays, Word Virus charts Burroughs's significant issues and locations the paintings within the context of the existence. it really is an outstanding instrument for the coed and a satisfaction for the overall reader. all through a occupation that spanned 1/2 the 20 th century, William S. Burroughs controlled consistently to be a visionary between writers. whilst he died in 1997, the area of letters misplaced its so much based outsider.

The deadpan granddad of postmodernism is definitely represented during this bountiful number of fiction, essays and collaborations from all phases of Burroughs's (1914-1997) lengthy profession. Burroughs's significant other, longtime editor and literary executor Grauerholz, and Grove editor Silverberg comprise choices from the writer's better-known works, in addition to sections of the experimental "cut-up" novels?complete adequate to provide readers a think for the shape with no arduous these unaccustomed to Burroughs's disjointed sharpness. darkish humor runs through the assortment, from the 1938 collaboration "Twilight's final Gleamings," within which the cross-dressing captain of a sinking send murders his manner onto a lifeboat, to a wry account of Burroughs's stint as a cockroach exterminator. What could turn out most dear to readers is the inclusion of Burroughs's observation on his goals and purpose. "Remembering Jack Kerouac" remembers the best way the more youthful Kerouac prodded Burroughs to write down. within the manifesto "Les Voleurs," Burroughs celebrates "stealing" phrases, a medication for "the fetish of originality." probably such a lot remarkable are the passages either melancholic and elegiac, comparable to this, from The Western Lands: "A tree like black-lace opposed to a grey sky. A flash of joy." In a variety from My schooling, Burroughs presents an apt description for this assortment: "Each web page is a door to every thing is permitted."

This judiciously edited assortment includes consultant excerpts from a lifetime's released paintings, starting from Junkie (1953) to My schooling: A booklet of Dreams (1995). It additionally gains the preliminary bankruptcy of "And the Hippos have been Boiled of their Tanks," an unpublished novel coauthored with Jack Kerouac. the choices, tracing "recurring subject matters and characters in Burroughs's work," are prepared roughly chronologically in 9 sections. Grauerholz, Burroughs's longtime good friend and literary executor, opens each one part with an essay that offers biographical, historic, and textual background..A n first-class creation to the fellow and his work.
-- Library Journal

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Extra resources for Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader

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Vanning’s hand descended, and he felt wriggling movement against his palm. He squeezed. The movement stopped. He let go of the dead thing and pulled his hand back swiftly. The door shook under the impact of fists. ” “Break it down,” somebody ordered. But that wasn’t necessary. Vanning put a painful smile on his face and turned the key. Counsel Hatton came in, accompanied by bulky policemen. “We’ve got MacIlson,” he said. “Oh? ” For answer Hatton jerked his hand. The officers began to search the room.

Behind him he could hear the heavy footsteps of the guards. Over his shoulder Vanning said, “Wait a minute,” and dodged into the office, slamming and locking the door behind him. He caught the tail end of a surprised question. The suitcase. There it was, unequivocally. And, quite as unequivocally, the two plainclothes men, after a very brief conference, were hammering on the door, trying to break it down. Vanning turned green. He took a hesitant step forward, and then saw the locker, in the corner to which he had moved it.

Ah—about that shipment of three-legged dogs I was wanting you to round up for me; I guess I can do without them. Any little favor I can do for you—” “—you’ll damn well do, after this. ” Gurrah knocked the two small heads together, breaking the connection and probably the heads, and turned grinning to Harry. “You see,” he explained, “that Iridel feller is a damn good supervisor, but he’s a stickler for detail. He sends people to Limbo for the silliest little mistakes. He never forgives anyone and he never forgets a slip.

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