William S. Burroughs at 100

The Quietus marks the centenary of the counter-cultural American writer
William S. Burroughs. Photograph: Loomis Dean
From Darran Anderson (The Quietus):
How could a man born one hundred years ago today still seem to speak so urgently and radically to us? The first reason is a stylistic one. Burroughs found a fitting way of representing the overload of our times. In abandoning the solely linear idea of narrative for cut-ups, he became an heir to the Modernists and did a great deal to close the fifty year gap he saw between literature and conceptual art. He was able to show that the increasingly ill-fitting structures of the Victorian novel were in fact the pretence rather than their experimental opponents as often claimed. After all, life and how we perceive it are neither entirely linear nor Dickensian. There was an honesty and a method in Burroughs' apparent madness. [Read More]

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