Tag Archives: literature

Nowhere Under the Sun

“This is the sun of the high plateau that bakes the land dry and leaves one nowhere to hide.” Ma Jian’s Red Dust is a book about escape, and discovering that there is no escape. A flight from something is … Continue reading

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Lessons from Los Alamos

Albert James Connell ran the Los Alamos Ranch school, which William S. Burroughs attended when he was a boy. “Many of Connell’s ideas were taken on board by Burroughs, such as that there was no such thing as an accident: … Continue reading

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Inhuman Indifference

When Kenneth Rexroth heard Dylan Thomas had died, he wrote a poem. He wrote about who he blamed for the poet’s death: and he finds fault with us, with society. He uses “You” in the poem, addressing all of us. … Continue reading

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Impressions of Barnaby Rudge

Barnaby Rudge stamps and shouts and waves the candle above his head. Gabriel tries to keep him quiet: “Softly – gently” he says, and backs away a step from the whirling flame. Barnaby is raving about his dreams, though he … Continue reading

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Where Cows Are More Real Than Policemen

Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote a poem about a dog. This dog is a “real realist,” which means he looks up and down and smells with his nose and asks questions and doesn’t have any smart answers. “Dog” is a poem about … Continue reading

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How To Make Word Dust

Besides being a science fiction novel, Nova Express is a how-to book.  It tells us how to make cut-ups and create “word dust”. For example, Burroughs has a character called “The Subliminal Kid” use tape recorders to create cut-ups: “‘The … Continue reading

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William S. Burroughs: Vision and Intuition

Reading Queer by William S. Burroughs, I’m struck not just by the sharp clear quality of the prose, but also by the insights themselves, the things Burroughs can see and points out to us. If he had been a worse … Continue reading

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