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Retaking The Universe: William S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization Paperback – July 20, 2004
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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--from Stephen Davis's Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga (1985)
"It's junk!" William Burroughs was quoted as telling Peter Weller about Percodan, in William S. Burroughs: A Man Within: Similarly, I could have used this advice/advocacy when I was put on Zyprexa, which gained me 70 lbs., more of an "effect" than a "side effect," dwarfing the purported promise and leaving aspirin's margin of error in the shade. ("Someday ..." I guess, implicitly, was the idea!) Being a guy, I guess it didn't do me as much harm as the twenty-something female grad. student in English at the University of Chicago I met at that school's hospital's psyche ward (misspelling deliberate!) -- but, what did SHE know?
This is the World We Live In: and, if you don't want to read ...Read more ›
The attempts to address Burroughs' relevance in the "Age of Globalization" are tenuous at best; Some authors wisely avoid the subject altogether, while others make a very shoddy job of it. It seems this was a term employed just to sell the concept of the book.
The earlier essays in the text, drawing parallels betweens Burroughs' work and other contemporary movements (Surrealism, Dadaism, etc.) are the most valuable.
Halfway through the book, however, one author writes his essay in a way that can only be described as "fan fiction," and things start to go downhill from there. I actually had to stop reading the book toward the very end, in the middle of a ridiculous essay that tried to connect dots between Burroughs and Crowley. There may be some connections worth mentioning between the two, but they were not at all well illustrated here; citing trends in the comic book industry didn't help the authors' cause or credibility. This, after a too long (and very messy) essay that tried to squeeze Burroughs' humor through some of the most excruciatingly dull scholarly language...
That aside, the book was not a total waste of time for this long-time Burroughs scholar. Start with the "At The Front" collection for a much better survey of Burroughs essays through the years.