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Reading: William S. Burroughs
03/09/1998 William S. Burroughs: The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1945-1959

The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1945-1959

A friend gave this to me as a birthday present recently. It's amazing--if he hadn't existed, there's no way anyone would believe him as a fictional character. Every other letter he's getting off junk for the last time, or he's saying something hilarious and disturbing. In all, a very human picture of him, but in no way is this a warm and fuzzy book. He's the genuine item, pretty much who you'd expect from his persona, just more complete.

The letters provide a great deal of background on--and nearly verbatim material for--Naked Lunch, which he was writing during the mid-late '50s, so I'm starting to reread it.