Rub Out the Words: The Letters of William S. Burroughs, 1959–1974

William S. Burroughs, edited by Bill Morgan. Ecco, $35 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-171142-8
Playful, obscene, engrossing at times, these 300 letters by Burroughs, from 1959, when The Naked Lunch (before the definite article was dropped) was issued in Paris, to 1974 when he accepted a teaching position at the City College of New York, cast a light on the writer’s eventful life. Edited by beat expert Bill Morgan (The Typewriter Is Holy), this volume picks up where 1993’s The Letters of William Burroughs, vol. 1: 1945–1959 left off. Of special interest is Burroughs’s work with surrealist painter and cutup artist Brion Gysin and the influence that visual method had on the writings. Through Burroughs, we catch glimpses of writers and figures as diverse as Anatole France, Timothy Leary, L. Ron Hubbard, Truman Capote, Carlos Castaneda, Frank Herbert, and Mario Puzo. Burroughs was no Scout Master, but in these letters, he comes across as reasonable and quite tame. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 02/01/2012
Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-06-209677-7
Paperback - 665 pages - 978-0-06-208886-4
Hardcover - 480 pages - 978-1-84614-167-6
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-14-118980-2
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