Introduction to The Fluke

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Published and Draft Introductions to Jacques Stern’s The Fluke

by William S. Burroughs

Jacques Stern is a writer.. That is he is writing actual events and conditions.. He says he is far away and this is literally true.. He says he is in ice and this is literally true, far away.. He far now is.. Separated from the reader by layers of cold transparent shale.. Distant fingers tapping on the pane in code.. I have endeavored to decode his message by folding some of my texts (which are composites of many writers.. All writing is) and laying them on the text of Stern and reading across so the resulting message rearranged and edited can perhaps be reduced to two words.. STAY OUT.. A writer maps psychic areas.. And like any explorer he runs the risk of being unable to return.. The difference between a real and spurious writer is quite as definite as the difference between an actual explorer and someone who does his exploring second hand (arm chair explorer).. The real writer is there.. And sometimes he can only send back a shortwave code message of warning.

To be followed by the enclosed texts.. I have been experimenting with the folded text method using Joyce and many others.. Results most interesting must be rearranged and edited as in any method of composition..

William Burroughs' introduction to Jacques Stern's The Fluke

William S. Burroughs
Introduction to Jacques Stern’s The Fluke
First page in the private edition of The Fluke


William Burroughs' introduction to Jacques Stern's The Fluke

William S. Burroughs
Introduction to Jacques Stern’s The Fluke
Second page in the private edition of The Fluke


William Burroughs' introduction to Jacques Stern's The Fluke, original manuscript

William S. Burroughs
Introduction to Jacques Stern’s The Fluke
Burroughs’ original manuscript


William Burroughs' introduction to Jacques Stern's The Fluke, previously unpublished manuscript draft, page 1

William S. Burroughs
Introduction to Jacques Stern’s The Fluke
Previously unpublished manuscript intended for the introduction to The Fluke
page 1


William Burroughs' introduction to Jacques Stern's The Fluke, previously unpublished manuscript draft, page 2

William S. Burroughs
Introduction to Jacques Stern’s The Fluke
Previously unpublished manuscript intended for the introduction to The Fluke
page 2


Published by RealityStudio on 4 April 2011. Originally published in a private edition by Buchet-Chastel in Paris on 21 June 1965.

William Burroughs’ introduction to The Fluke: © 1965 by the Estate of William S. Burroughs, used with the permission of The Wylie Agency.

Scans of William Burroughs’ manuscript introduction to The Fluke: Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

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