Trenchant writings by that sardonic ""hombre invisible,"" William Seward Burroughs, perpetrator of Naked Lunch and other shockers. These malefic and beatific, mordant and hilarious straight-face reports on life are mostly from scatter-shot publications in obscure places, foreign and domestic. Including complete texts from White Subway, Cobblestone Gardens, and The Retreat Diaries, this collection delineates Burroughs' comprehensive world-view and his ""insurrectionary sense of America's underside," as Tom Carson epitomized it in The Village Voice.
Also included are essays on Burroughs by Alan Ansen and Paul Bowles, and facsimile pages from the famous cut-up scrapbooks of the mid-century: The Book of Hours, John Brady's Book, and The Old Farmer's Almanac.
Burroughs in Tangier, Paul Bowles; whoever can pick up a frying pan owns death, Alan Ansen. Part 1 The white subway: unfinished cigarette; distant hand lifted; the conspiracy; ancient face gone out; who is the third that walks beside you?; the last post - danger ahead; Palm Sunday tape; the beginning is also the end; the coldspring news; who is the walks beside you written 3rd?; St Louis return; composite text. Part 2 The old movies: word authority more habit forming than heroin; so who owns death TV; abstract; fear and the monkey; distant heels; pages from chaos; 23 skiddoo; old photographer; the inferential kid; last awning flaps on the pier; the bay of pigs; file ticker tape; the moving times. Part 3 Pages from scrapbooks: the old farmer's almanac; book of hours; John Brady's book. Part 4 The retreat diaries. Part 5 Cobble stone gardens.