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Interzone

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Paperback published by Penguin Books (Penguin Books)

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About This Book

In 1954 William Burroughs settled in Tangiers, finding a sanctuary of sorts in its shadowy streets, blind alleys, and lowlife decadence. It was this city that served as a catalyst for Burroughs as a writer, the backdrop for one of the most radical transformations of style in literary history.

Burroughs's life during this period is limned in a startling collection of short stories, autobiographical sketches, letters, and diary entries, all of which showcase his trademark mordant humor, while delineating the addictions to drugs and sex that are the central metaphors of his work. But it is the extraordinary "WORD," a long, sexually wild and deliberately offensive tirade, that blends confession, routine, and fantasy and marks the true turning point of Burroughs as a writer-the breakthrough of his own characteristic voice that will find its full realization in Naked Lunch. James Grauerholz's incisive introduction sets the scene for this series of pieces, guiding the reader through Burroughs's literary evolution from the precise, laconic, and deadpan writer of Junky and Queer to the radical, uncompromising seer of Naked Lunch. Interzone is an indispensable addition to the canon of his works.

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In 1954 William Burroughs settled in Tangiers, finding a sanctuary of sorts in its shadowy streets, blind alleys, and lowlife decadence. It was this city that served as a catalyst for Burroughs as a writer, the backdrop for one of the most radical transformations of style in literary history.

Burroughs's life during this period is limned in a startling collection of short stories, autobiographical sketches, letters, and diary entries, all of which showcase his trademark mordant humor, while delineating the addictions to drugs and sex that are the central metaphors of his work. But it is the extraordinary "WORD," a long, sexually wild and deliberately offensive tirade, that blends confession, routine, and fantasy and marks the true turning point of Burroughs as a writer-the breakthrough of his own characteristic voice that will find its full realization in Naked Lunch. James Grauerholz's incisive introduction sets the scene for this series of pieces, guiding the reader through Burroughs's literary evolution from the precise, laconic, and deadpan writer of Junky and Queer to the radical, uncompromising seer of Naked Lunch. Interzone is an indispensable addition to the canon of his works.

Product Details
Paperback (224 pages)
Published: February 1, 1990
Publisher: Penguin Books
Imprint: Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780140094510
Other books byWilliam S. Burroughs
  • The Soft Machine

    The Soft Machine
    The Restored Text
    A total assault on the powers that turn humans into machines by writing and fixing our life scripts, Burroughs’ original “cut-up” book was itself rewritten in three different forms. This new edition of The Soft Machine clarifies for the first time the extraordinary history of its writing and rewriting, demolishes the myths of his chance-based writing methods, and demonstrates for a new generation the significance of Burroughs’ greatest experiment. Edited from the original manuscripts by renowned Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris, this revised edition incorporates an introduction and appendices of never before seen materials.

    The Ticket That Exploded

    The Ticket That Exploded
    The Restored Text
    As this new edition reveals, the cultural reach of The Ticket That Exploded has expanded with the viral logic of Burroughs’s multimedia methods, recycling itself into our digital environment. A last chance antidote to the virus of lies spread by the ad men and con men of the Nova Mob, Burroughs’s book is an outrageous hybrid of pulp science fiction, obscene experimental poetry, and manifesto for revolution—as fresh today as it ever has been. Edited from the original manuscripts by renowned Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris, this revised edition incorporates an introduction and appendices of never before seen materials.

    Naked Lunch

    Naked Lunch
    Since its original publication in Paris in 1959, Naked Lunch has become one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. Exerting its influence on the relationship of art and obscenity, it is one of the books that redefined not just literature but American culture. For the Burroughs enthusiast and the neophyte, this volume—that contains final-draft typescripts, numerous unpublished contemporaneous writings by Burroughs, his own later introductions to the book, and his essay on psychoactive drugs—is a valuable and fresh experience of a novel that has lost none of its relevance or satirical bite.

    And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

    And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks
    In the summer of 1944, a shocking murder rocked the fledgling Beats. William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, both still unknown, we inspired by the crime to collaborate on a novel, a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and brutality, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives. Finally published after more than sixty years, this is a captivating read, and incomparable literary artifact, and a window into the lives and art of two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers.

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