Criticism

Classic Works of Criticism

Notes on Burroughs

Author Marshall McLuhan
Date 1964
Subject An early and one of the most famous reviews of Burroughs’ work.
Link Notes on Burroughs

A New Literature for the Space Age

Author Michael Moorcock
Date 1964
Subject An early piece of advocacy for Burroughs’ work, published in the first Moorcock-edited issue of seminal New Worlds magazine
Link A New Literature for the Space Age

The Cosmic Satirist

Author Michael Moorcock
Date 1965
Subject Moorcock’s review, written under the pseudonym James Colvin, of Naked Lunch
Link The Cosmic Satirist

Wired for Shock Treatments

Author Joan Didion
Date 1966
Subject A rare and insightful review of The Soft Machine
Link Wired for Shock Treatments

Terry Southern on Naked Lunch

Author Terry Southern
Date 1962
Subject A text included in Grove Press’ original promotional pamphlet for Naked Lunch
Link Terry Southern on Naked Lunch

Roundup at the O.P. Corral

Author Jan Herman
Date 1971
Subject Thoughts on Brion Gysin and Wyndham Lewis, exploring “a largely neglected aspect of Brion Gysin’s early writing and intellectual development.”
Link Roundup at the O.P. Corral

Recent Criticism

The Mouth Inside: The Voices of Naked Lunch

Author Ian MacFadyen
Date 7 Dec 2009
Subject Ian MacFadyen offers a brilliant meditation on the role of the voice and the mouth in William Burroughs’ magnum opus. Accompanying the text are paintings from Phil Wood’s “Postcards from Purgatory.”
Link The Mouth Inside: The Voices of Naked Lunch

This Beautiful Corrosion — William S. Burroughs at the ZKM

Author Ian MacFadyen
Date 27 Feb 2013
Subject Ian MacFadyen offers a review of the name is BURROUGHS — Expanded Media, the large exhibit of artwork by William Burroughs and the many other artists inspired by him.
Link This Beautiful Corrosion — William S. Burroughs at the ZKM

The Blade Runner and the Shootist

Author Michael Stevens
Date 17 Feb 2010
Subject Michael Stevens, author of The Road to Interzone, offers two entries deleted from the forthcoming second edition of the book. In an analysis of Tornado Alley and Blade Runner: A Movie, the entries look at the “influence, use, and appropriation of other authors’ works in the writing of William S. Burroughs.”
Link The Blade Runner and the Shootist

The Soft Machines

Author Dave Teeuwen
Date 17 Nov 2009
Subject Dave offers an overview of the three different editions of William S. Burroughs’ cut-up novel The Soft Machine.
Link The Soft Machines

Review of Malcom Mc Neill’s Memoir of William S. Burroughs

Author Jan Herman
Date 23 Dec 2012
Subject Jan Herman reviews Malcolm Mc Neill’s newly published memoir, Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me.
Link Review of Malcom Mc Neill’s Memoir of William S. Burroughs

The Lost Years of William S. Burroughs

Author RealityStudio
Date August 2006
Subject RealityStudio reviews Rob Johnson’s book, The Lost Years of William S. Burroughs: Beats in South Texas
Link The Lost Years of William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

Author Graham Rae
Date 23 April 2010
Subject Graham Rae reviews Yony Leyser’s new documentary film about the life of William S. Burroughs.
Link William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

FLiCKeR DVD Review

Author Graham Rae
Date August 2008
Subject Review of FLiCKeR, the 2008 DVD directed by Nik Sheehan
Link FLiCKeR DVD Review

The Junky’s Christmas

Author RealityStudio
Date December 2006
Subject Review of DVD featuring animated short of Burroughs’ “The Junky’s Christmas.”
Link The Junky’s Christmas

Yage Letters Redux

Author RealityStudio
Date April 2006
Subject Review of Yage Redux, Oliver Harris’ new edition of Burroughs’ famous letters on yage
Link Yage Letters Redux

Dead Aim: The Unseen Art of William S. Burroughs

Author Paul Pieroni
Date 2006
Subject Reflections on the later artwork of William Burroughs
Link Dead Aim: The Unseen Art of William S. Burroughs

Cursed from Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs Jr.

Author Tom Bowden
Date 2004
Subject Review of a proof copy of the aborted Grove Press edition of Cursed from Birth
Link Cursed from Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs Jr.

What Happened to Cursed from Birth?

Author RealityStudio
Date 2004
Subject After Grove Press aborted their edition of Cursed from Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs Jr., RealityStudio tried to piece together the puzzle — along with some help by author David Ohle
Link What Happened to Cursed from Birth?

Evil River

Author RealityStudio
Date 2005
Subject For years there have been rumors of a Burroughs memoir titled Evil River. Are these fact or fiction?
Link Evil River
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