Letters by William S. Burroughs
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Letters
By William S. Burroughs

Letters

Vol 1

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Format: Paperback

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Letters by William S. Burroughs

Book Description

Guru of the Beat generation, controversial eminence grise of the international avant-garde, dark prophet and blackest of black-humor satirists, William S. Burroughs has had a range of influence rivalled by few living writers. This meticulously assembled volume of his correspondence vividly documents the personal and cultural history through which Burroughs developed, revealing clues to illuminate his life and keys to open up his texts. More than that, they also show how in the period 1945-1959, letter-writing was itself integral to his life and to his fiction-making. These letters reveal the extraordinary route that took Burroughs from narrative to anti-narrative, from Junky to Naked Lunch and the discovery of cut-ups, a turbulent journey crossing two decades and three continents. The letters track the great shifts in Burroughs' crucial relationship with Allen Ginsberg, from lecturing wise man ("Watch your semantics young man") to total dependence ("Your absence causes me, at times, acute pain.") to near-estrangement ("I sometimes feel you have mixed me up with someone else doesn't live here anymore."). They show Burroughs' initial despair at the obscenity of his own letters, some of which became parts of Naked Lunch, and his gradual recognition of the work's true nature ("It's beginning to look like a modern Inferno.") They reveal the harrowing lows and ecstatic highs of his emotions, and lay bare the pain of coming to terms with a childhood trauma ("Such horror in bringing it out I was afraid my heart would stop."). It is a story as revealing of his fellow Beats as it is of Burroughs: he writes of Kerouac and Cassady in the midst of the journey immortalized as On the Road ("Neal is,of course, the very soul of this voyage into pure, abstract, meaningless motion."), and to Ginsberg as he was writing Howl ("I sympathize with your feelings of depression, beatness: 'We have seen the best of our time.'"). And throughout runs the unmistakable Burroughs voice, the u

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140094527
ISBN-10: 0140094520
Format: Paperback
(214mm x 132mm x 30mm)
Pages: 512
Imprint: Penguin Books Australia
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Publish Date: 30-Jun-1994
Country of Publication: Australia

Books By Author William S. Burroughs

Place of Dead Roads by William S. Burroughs Place of Dead Roads, Paperback (January 2015)

A surreal fable that features a cast of notorious characters: The Crying Gun, who breaks into tears at the sight of his opponent; The Priest, who goes into gunfights giving his adversaries the last rites; and The Nihilistic Kid, Kim Carson, who sets out to challenge the morality of small-town America and fight for intergalactic freedom.

Ticket That Exploded by William S. Burroughs Ticket That Exploded, Paperback (April 2014)

An outrageous hybrid of pulp science fiction, obscene experimental poetry, and manifesto for revolution, this book is a last chance antidote to the virus of lies spread by the ad men and con men of the Nova Mob, a call to arms against those driving our planet toward the point of destruction.

Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs Soft Machine, Paperback (April 2014)

Draws the reader into an unmappable textual space, where nothing is true and everything is permitted, to make a total assault on the colonising powers of planet earth that have turned us all into machines.

» View all books by William S. Burroughs

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Author Biography - William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) guru of the Beat Generation, controversialeminence grise of the international avant-garde, dark prophet, and blackest of black humor satirists had a range of influence rivaled by few post-World War II writers. His many books include Naked Lunch, Queer, Exterminator!, The Cat Inside, The Western Lands, and Interzone.Oliver Harris edited The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1945-1959. He is currently a lecturer in American Literature at the University of Keele."

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