1300 36 33 32

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

Buy Letters book by William S. Burroughs from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

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

Reviews

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Letters book by William S. Burroughs and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write Review


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.

"

Books By Author William S. Burroughs

Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

Naked Lunch

Hardback, October 2016
$31.50
Place of Dead Roads by William S. Burroughs

The Place of Dead Roads

Paperback, January 2015
$18.24
Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs

The Soft Machine

Paperback, April 2014
$18.24
Nova Express by William S. Burroughs

Nova Express

Paperback, April 2014
$18.24