My Education: A Book of Dreams

Overview

With My Education: A Book of Dreams William S. Burroughs pushes on into new territory, once again committing the unspeakable crime of questioning the reality structure. Dreams have always been a rich source of imagery in Burroughs' work. In this book they are a direct and powerful force. Hundreds of dreams - intense, vivid, visionary - form the spiraling core of a unique and haunting journey into perception. Exploring and embodying Burroughs' provocative ideas on writing, painting, consciousness and creativity, ...
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Overview

With My Education: A Book of Dreams William S. Burroughs pushes on into new territory, once again committing the unspeakable crime of questioning the reality structure. Dreams have always been a rich source of imagery in Burroughs' work. In this book they are a direct and powerful force. Hundreds of dreams - intense, vivid, visionary - form the spiraling core of a unique and haunting journey into perception. Exploring and embodying Burroughs' provocative ideas on writing, painting, consciousness and creativity, My Education is profoundly personal, and may be as close to a memoir as we will see.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The noted Burroughs himself is the central character of his first novel in seven years, revisiting the site of hundreds of his dreams, a landscape ``where I get my best sets and characters.'' Numerous family members, friends and celebrities from the author's past appear-Mick Jagger, L. Ron Hubbard, Paul Bowles, Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac-and locales vary wildly, from Manhattan to Panama, ancient Rome to the planet Venus. Several types of dreams recur: ``flying'' dreams, ``packaging'' dreams, ``breakfast dreams'' about ``difficulty in obtaining any sort of food.'' Images, too, recur-cats, pale young men, aliens, various doctors-though Burroughs fails to infuse them with any metaphorical meaning, thus bequeathing a tediousness to his terrain. Several graphic scenes, however, haunt this plotless book, such as one in which a man's face is bloodied by a broken bottle. Those familiar with the Burroughs canon will notice that the author's disjointed prose remains, but the satire has been replaced by a more plaintive voice. The strength of this memoir-like story comes from its 72-year-old narrator's struggles with grief, having outlived many of the people and events he so vividly recalls. ``Remembering,'' says Burroughs, ``brings the emptiness, the acutely painful awareness of irreparable loss.'' (Jan.)
Library Journal
Similar in format to Jack Kerouac's Book of Dreams (1961), Burroughs's latest offering is a simple dream diary, interspersed with brief interpretive comments and presented in clear, accessible prose. Most of the dreams involve visits to the Land of the Dead, where nearly all of Burroughs's friends and enemies have long since vanished. Kerouac, Brion Gysin, Jean Genet, and hostile critic Anatole Broyard make frequent appearances, along with the author's parents; his wife, Joan; and his son, Billy. Burroughs himself has mellowed considerably. He avoids sex, deplores thievery, rails against gun fanatics, and shares his home with several pampered cats. Because the author's best work incorporates nightmares and hallucinations, his dream record is of genuine literary interest. However, readers unschooled in Beat lore will struggle with cryptic allusions to obscure people and events. This important work for fans will likely win few new converts. Recommended for larger fiction collections.-Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles
Booknews
Dreams have always been a rich source of imagery in Burroughs' writing and this book is built around hundreds of his dreams--some short and cryptic, some long and complex. Burroughs combines the dreams with his thoughts on art, creativity, and the nature of consciousness. There is a ripe, meditative quality to the writing, especially in the sections that read more as memoir. It may be as close to autobiography as we will see. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140094541
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,360,783
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997)—guru of the Beat Generation, controversial éminence 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.

Biography

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) -- guru of the Beat Generation, controversial éminence 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.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    Good

    This is a good book, about William S. Burroughs and his dreams. I wish it had a plot though, thats the only thing I wish it had. But I guess you can't really have a plot in a book of just a bunch of dreams. He dreams were fascinating though and I enjoyed this book.

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