Word Virus: The William Burroughs Reader (Flamingo Modern Classic)

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9780006552147: Word Virus: The William Burroughs Reader (Flamingo Modern Classic)

An indispensable selection of Burroughs’ work.

‘Word Virus’ brings together selections of Burroughs’ most important and challenging work, beginning with his very early work (including a chapter from a novel in collaboration with Jack Kerouac) and following his trajectory through ‘The Cat Inside’.

This book has been edited to serve as a tool for the scholar and with commentary for the general reader. Important biographical information is included which provides key links to understanding Burroughs’ work within the context of his life.

Burroughs managed to be a visionary amongst writers: he imagined the Internet decades before its appearance and peered into the future of other technologies; he kept pace with world affairs and cultural trends; and, with each of his books, he introduced new possibilities to the form. When he died in 1997, the world of letters lost its most elegant insider.

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Review:

Praise for William Burroughs:

'Burroughs is the greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift.' Jack Kerouac

'Burroughs' voice is hard, derisive, inventive, free, funny, serious, poetic, indelibly American, a voice in which one hears transistor radios and old movies and all the clichés and all the cons and all the newspapers, all the peculiar optimism, all the failure.' Joan Didion

'The only American novelist who may conceivably be possessed by genius.' Norman Mailer

'In the English language, William Burroughs is the greatest writer alive. His imagination has tackled head-on the post-war world, with its huge bureaucracies and sinister complexes. He has a paranoid vision, but as he himself said: the psychotic is someone who knows what's really going on.' J. G. Ballard, Sunday Times

‘William Burroughs broadened people’s conception of what makes humanity. In that way, he really was an American hero, a hero writer, and also just a great man.’ Lou Reed

From the Back Cover:

This authoritative anthology of Burroughs' writing is intended as much for the general reader as for the scholar, bringing together a selection of his most important work. Beginning with his earliest writing (including a chapter from a never-before-seen collaborative novel with Jack Kerouac) and following his trajectory through the major novels to his final book, 'My Education,' it is a series of meditations on his own extraordinary dreamlife. Biographical prefaces to each chapter, and Beat historian Ann Douglas's introductory essay, provide an overview of the life and work of this unique writer.

‘He's a writer of enormous richness whose books are a kind of attempt to blow up this cosy conspiracy, to allow us to see the truth.’ JG Ballard

‘Burroughs is the greatest writer since Jonathan Swift.’ Jack Kerouac

‘Burroughs' voice is hard, derisive, inventive, free, funny, serious, poetic, indelibly American, a voice in which one hears transistor radios and old movies and all the clichés and all the cons and all the newspapers, all the peculiar optimism, all the failure.’ Joan Didion

‘The only American novelist who may conceivably be possessed by genius.’ Norman Mailer

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