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William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination

by Oliver Harris

William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination Synopsis

William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination by Oliver Harris

William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination Press Reviews

From the moment that I began, I could barely stop reading this brilliantly intoxicating 'fascination' with the hermeneutics of Burroughsian mysteries. Using considerable intrigue and deftness of his own, Harris draws the reader into the genesis of Burroughs's creative imagination and the intricate geography of his textual politics. Harris has the independence and audacity of his own strong views, which are grounded in scholarly spadework, biographical insight, and textual analysis. For those interested in Burroughs, Beat dynamics, or postmodernism, this is a seminal work. --John Tytell, author of Naked Angels: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs Oliver Harris is in the forefront of the next generation of scholars of William S. Burroughs, about whose life and work so much has already been said that the 'standard myth' has become an obstacle to further original research and analysis. Going directly to primary sources and documents (some of them only newly available) and bringing to his job a deep cultural literacy corresponding to Burroughs' own classical education, Harris dispels much false 'received wisdom' about the author's life and throws unprecedented light on many of the literary, historical, political, scientific, and contemporaneous pop-cultural references encoded in Burroughs' innumerable allusions. From this new vantage, Harris holds up for provocative reconsideration all the important critical constructions that have grown up densely around Burroughs' work since the publication of his first book fifty years ago. No one seriously proposing now to discuss the Burroughs oeuvre can afford to ignore this major book. -- James Grauerholz, executor, William S. Burroughs Estate From the moment that I began, I could barely stop reading this brilliantly intoxicating fascination with the hermeneutics of Burroughsian mysteries. Using considerable intrigue and deftness of his own, Harris draws the reader into the genesis of Burroughs s creative imagination and the intricate geography of his textual politics. Harris has the independence and audacity of his own strong views, which are grounded in scholarly spadework, biographical insight, and textual analysis. For those interested in Burroughs, Beat dynamics, or postmodernism, this is a seminal work. John Tytell, author of Naked Angels: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs Oliver Harris is in the forefront of the next generation of scholars of William S. Burroughs, about whose life and work so much has already been said that the standard myth has become an obstacle to further original research and analysis. Going directly to primary sources and documents (some of them only newly available) and bringing to his job a deep cultural literacy corresponding to Burroughs own classical education, Harris dispels much false received wisdom about the author s life and throws unprecedented light on many of the literary, historical, political, scientific, and contemporaneous pop-cultural references encoded in Burroughs innumerable allusions. From this new vantage, Harris holds up for provocative reconsideration all the important critical constructions that have grown up densely around Burroughs work since the publication of his first book fifty years ago. No one seriously proposing now to discuss the Burroughs oeuvre can afford to ignore this major book. James Grauerholz, executor, William S. Burroughs Estate William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination sets a new standard for Burroughs criticism. The book combines close textual readings, astute analysis and detailed research into the original letters and manuscripts, while drawing on more or less every other critical work on Burroughs published to date. Times Literary Supplement Harris s study goes deeply into its subject, providing the valuable service of untangling the manuscripts, repositioning events in chronological time, and drawing sound implications and conclusions from myth and legend. Regina Weinreich, American Book Review Oliver Harris is in the forefront of the next generation of scholars of William S. Burroughs, about whose life and work so much has already been said that the ' standard myth' has become an obstacle to further original research and analysis. Going directly to primary sources and documents (some of them only newly available) and bringing to his job a deep cultural literacy corresponding to Burroughs' own classical education, Harris dispels much false ' received wisdom' about the author' s life and throws unprecedented light on many of the literary, historical, political, scientific, and contemporaneous pop-cultural references encoded in Burroughs' innumerable allusions. From this new vantage, Harris holds up for provocative reconsideration all the important critical constructions that have grown up densely around Burroughs' work since the publication of his first book fifty years ago. No one seriously proposing now to discuss the Burroughs oeuvre can afford to ignore this major book. -- James Grauerholz, executor, William S. Burroughs Estate From the moment that I began, I could barely stop reading this brilliantly intoxicating ' fascination' with the hermeneutics of Burroughsian mysteries. Using considerable intrigue and deftness of his own, Harris draws the reader into the genesis of Burroughs' s creative imagination and the intricate geography of his textual politics. Harris has the independence and audacity of his own strong views, which are grounded in scholarly spadework, biographical insight, and textual analysis. For those interested in Burroughs, Beat dynamics, or postmodernism, this is a seminal work. -- John Tytell, author of Naked Angels: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs

Book Information

ISBN: 9780809324842
Publication date: 30th April 2003
Author: Oliver Harris
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 272 pages
Categories: Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literary studies: from c 1900 -,

About Oliver Harris

Oliver Harris is a professor in the School of American Studies at Keele University in Staffordshire, England. He is the editor of The Selected Letters of William S. Burroughs, 19451959 and the editor of the fiftieth-anniversary edition of Burroughs Junky. Harris is also the author of numerous scholarly articles on Burroughs, the Beat Generation, film noir, and the epistolary form.

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