Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader

Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader

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Word Virus 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a hard one to review. The writings sampled are inconsistent¿but then again, so was Burroughs¿s output, so in that respect the writings are a true representation of Burroughs¿s corpus. The chapter introductions by Grauerholz are especially valuable for readers who are removed from Burroughs¿s original context, and assist in further illuminating Burroughs¿s writings. The later works (after the ¿cut-ups¿) are especially prophetic; it was interesting to read Burroughs¿s commentaries on Hussein and another Bush in 2003. All in all, a useful and comprehensive introduction to one who is seeking to get acquainted with the wide range of work that came from the pen of Burroughs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The one book by William S. Burroughs you should buy. The unique genius that William truly was-yes, indulgent, odd and unsettling at 80, but how great it would have been to have known him young and probably pretty in 1950-is best understood with the direction of J. Grauerholz, although a bourgeois beatnik, for sure, who did love him and is the world expert on him. Ira Silverberg is a true young publishing genius, the new Ferlinghetti, and most responsible for the book. My earlier review I withdraw. Although true, it did not reflect the genius and truth of William-and Jack, Allen, Anne, Philip, Lawrence, Gregory, Gary, even Neal and Huncke, et al. View their literature with a full and clear understanding of their weaknesses and that we, the readers, are almost certain to have less ability to 'drive-on' pass the drugs, sex, parties, confusion-to produce as they could or can. At least be warned. A lot of souls have been lost on the beat road.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The `Buddha¿ myth of the Beats is transparent¿the truth of the Beats is that they offered simple lust, self-centered desire, and the creation of values for the public that were never real to them. Ginsberg, Burroughs, Cassady, and Kerouac¿each remained driven by all-to-real human wants and needs. Whether it was highs, sex (or the never-ending desire for fame and boys that especially drove Ginsberg and Burroughs), the truth is that these never-aging `boys¿ always wanted one thing and one thing only¿what they desired. This is not an argument against the human nature of desire, but rather against the self-inflated myth of the good deeds and generosity of the Beats. That is a lie. Young readers should be aware that even in his later years, Ginsberg, for example, used his fame to get laid, and used it a lot. And Burroughs spent much time thinking about his position as aristocrat of the intellectual world, while giving drugs to young men. They looked down on humanity. The activities of the never-ending boys¿ club that was created by the Beats included ignoring their own children, their wives (or murdering them in Burroughs case), and anyone else that didn¿t do exactly what they wanted. The Beats was not a movement of freedom¿it was a movement of the Beats, what the Beats wanted, and why YOU had to give it to them. If YOU didn¿t give them what they wanted¿boys, drugs, money, fame¿than you were square. Period. What a scam. This collection of Burroughs writings, put together the summer of his death in 1997, was edited by his adopted son, and secretary; and by the former boy friend of the same. It is a closed world, one that does not accept criticism or correction. Buy this book if you want (paper). It will save you buying a lot of other books by Burroughs, but it is the continuation of the Beat Myth that you are buying. Enjoy it, but don¿t think that it was real. It was not.