With the premiere of David Cronenberg's adaptation of Burrows' Naked Lunch, a new wave of fascination has been generated for this fierce anti-establishment crusader--"the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed of genius" (Norman Mailer)
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Fawning and klutzy, with the critical and grammatical skills of the average college sophomore book report (``Just because Burroughs appropriates characters or even chunks of text from someone else's book, this does not mean they are an influence on him, though it probably does mean that he likes their work''), Miles (Allen Ginsberg, 1989) slaps Burroughs's life and spotty works down into a sandwich of no-brainer Zeitgeist-y approval (``Lauren Hutton introduced him on Saturday Night Live in December 1981 as `in my opinion the greatest living writer' ''), buying-in wholesale to Burroughs's off-the-cuff and self-resolving ``theories'' (``legal cannabis was prescribed for paranoia: cannabis is illegal, therefore users suffer from the paranoia that they will get busted. The paranoia is cured by prescribing it legally'') and serving up bare-bones facts about his grotesque and slavishly addicted life that can be more intelligibly constellated from Oliver Harris's volume of Burroughs's early letters (p. 566). More an extended and semiliterate fan-gush than a biography; for a far more satisfying look at Burroughs's life, see Ted Morgan's Literary Outlaw (1988). (B&w photographs) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
In his latest work, Miles ( Ginsberg: A Biography , Simon & Schuster, 1989) turns his attention to William Burroughs. His book falls somewhere between Ted Morgan's comprehensive biography, Literary Outlaw ( LJ 10/15/88), and Jennie Skerl's introductory volume, William Burroughs (Twayne, 1985). Miles traces autobiographical parallels in Burroughs's work and examines his friendships with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Brion Gysin, among others. He details Burroughs's influence in rock and film circles within the general framework of his growing critical acclaim. Miles's book is especially valuable for its coverage of the complex textual history of Burroughs's work. The final chapter includes an evaluation of his "shotgun art." Recommended for contemporary literature collections.
- William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Hyperion, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX078688018X
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Book Description Hyperion, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M078688018X
Book Description Hyperion, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11078688018X