Retaking the Universe: William S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization

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9780745320816: Retaking the Universe: William S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization
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William S. Burroughs is one of America's most influential and widely studied writers. A leading member of the Beat movement, his books and essays continue to attract a wide readership. His films, paintings, recordings and other projects that grew out of his literary production, together with his iconic persona as a counter-culture (anti-)hero, mean his work has become a broad cultural phenomenon. This collection of essays by leading scholars offers an interdisciplinary consideration of Burroughs's art. It links his lived experience to his many major prose works written from 1953 on, as well his sound, cinema and media projects. Moving beyond the merely literary, the contributors argue for the continuing social and political relevance of Burroughs's work for the emerging global order. Themes include: Burroughs and contemporary theory; debates on 'reality'; violence; magic and mysticism ; cybernetic cultures; language and technology; control and transformation; transgression and addiction; the limits of prose; image politics and the avant-garde.

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Review:

Schneiderman's and Walsh's new collection should mark the beginning of a new and wider view of the contemporary implications of Burroughs's thought. This book is retaking the universe of Burroughsian interpretation – starting now. (James Grauerholz)

The first serious and well conceived study of his [Burroughs's] global influence. (Victor Bockris)

El Hombre Invisible goes global. Thanks to Schneiderman and Walsh's Retaking the Universe, Burroughs finally manages to storm the theory studio. (Sylvere Lotringer, Editor of Semiotext(e) and Burroughs Live.)

More than any other writer of the last fifty years, William Burroughs cracked the code of the hyperreal, ultra-commodified society of control, and charted out possible lines of escape. These essays testify to the continuing relevance of Burroughs' words and project in the twenty-first century. (Steven Shaviro, author of Doom Patrols and Connected)

Schneiderman's and Walsh's new collection should mark the beginning of a new and wider view of the contemporary implications of Burroughs' thought. This book is retaking the universe of Burroughsian interpretation -- starting now. (James Grauerholz)

About the Author:

Davis Schneiderman is Chair of the American Studies Program and an Assistant Professor of English at Lake Forest College, Illinois. He is currently engaged in research on Burroughs's connections to literary plagiarism and issues of digital copyright.

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