*FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Yage Letters: an early epistolary novel by William S. Burroughs, whose account of himself as Junkie. The Yage Letters Redux. William S. Burroughs, Author, Allen Ginsberg, Author, Oliver Harris, Editor. City Lights $ (p) ISBN. For forty years The Yage Letters has been one of the most popular texts in the Burroughs oeuvre, a short (18, word) and accessible introduction to his work.

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Di Prima and LeRoi Jones. Explore the Home Gift Guide. The result is that Burroughs’ already enigmatic letter–a cryptically written prescription for Ginsberg to use his new cut-up method as “Help”–appears more mysterious still.

A freakout at the end. Edited Out For forty years The Yage Letters has been one of the most popular texts in the Burroughs oeuvre, a short 18, word and accessible introduction to his work. Image from The Floating Bear 5. Since one of the most distinctive features of Naked Lunch is the extraordinary difficulty every reader experiences in finding their way around it, the effect–to stop the words spilling off the page–is, in Loranger’s terms, “a grave editorial sin” I have read this book before but hadn’t saved it to Goodreads and hadn’t remembered until I was partway through it.

To begin with, the “July 10, ” letter was the first published part of Burroughs’ “Yage” manuscript, but it is also the final letter in the whole epistolary sequence. Loranger’s second call raises important theoretical and practical issues without actually attempting to resolve them; as she puts it, her essay “should be taken as a series of first steps toward a postmodern edition of Naked Lunch ” 2.

This material at the start of the section, however, reproduces the “July 10, ” letter as published in Black Mountain Review minus its opening lines and with other minor differences.

Although Oliver Harris is only listed as the editor of this edition, his actual contribution, his introduction, constitutes almost a third of the text and is well worth reading. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

The Yage Letters: William S. Burroughs: : Books

Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. Off to cutup literary collage crap.

And yet there’s a distinction between removing arbitrary homogenizations as in the punctuation of the French and German editions and preventing a smooth, consistent reading by crudely maximizing heterogeneity to the extent, for example, of reproducing different typefaces to make visible the historicity and provenance of each part.


The letter’s compositional history can also be burrougjs as another materialization of its “space time travel” theme. Image from Kulchur 3. One especially fitting example should illustrate this editorial practice in Naked Lunch.

The upshot is that, as the Burroughs critical field expanded, more and more interpretive work–often very impressive on its own terms–has come to burrlughs on the same small and unreliable scholarly base.

From a drugs perspective, the highlight is definitely Allen Ginsberg’s letter near the end. There’s a problem loading this menu right now. On the other hand, the static notion of the “typical” text threatens to undo Skerl’s own analysis by fixing and dehistoricizing the Burroughsian text.

White junkie dude traipses through the Amazon and whines about it a whole bunch and is letgers much a jerk to everyone he meets. Especially worth it is the description, if one believes it, of an early gay experience in, I believe, the books first letter, how Burroughs’s narrative moves by playing with the reader’s emotions as he chronicles his own betrayal and manipulation.

The Yage Letters

Open Preview See a Problem? The fact that her comparison, in effect, inverts the genetic relation between texts affirms once again that the value of this approach goes beyond analysis of individual works to embrace the intertextual relations between them. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the “greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift”, a reputation he owes to his “lifelong subversion” of the moral, political and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism.

I remember reading The Yage Letters for the first time ? Like many other critics, Loranger confusingly refers to the two dozen separate yae of Naked Lunch –divisions of the text that, inconsistently in the first edition, were given their own titles–as “routines,” a term Burroughs only ever yag to self-contained material of up to a few pages in length.

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Now, to the meat of the story — the sections on yage. Even marijuana never did anything for me. Nov 05, Michael rated it it was ok. Jun 10, Pablo Paz rated it did not like it. The ” Chicago Review -cum- Big Table war” was therefore a decisive cultural moment, showing how the Beats “even turned apparent tactical defeats into strategic victory” Biographers tend to assume the documentary value of literary works–and “In Search of Yage” has been readily used in this way–but in interpretive criticism of evident sophistication, it is odd to see lwtters “transparent” readings of letters, however they are presented.


City Lights’ ideal status as a publisher of Burroughs’ “Yage” material is evidenced by the dialogue conducted throughout the mids and early ’60s between Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti concerning the destiny of Burroughs’ manuscripts. When quoting one of its obscene “routines” in Decemberhe quips revealingly to Kerouac: It also established the publishing context for the letters presented under the title “In Quest of Yage.

The Yage Letters

Burroughs himself summed up the immediate and longer-term significance of this chain of events: Given the heterogeneity of materials and the hybridity of the text overall, such homogenizing might seem a mistaken effort to resolve contradictions and unify dissonant parts into a singular whole. When the author experiments with the drug using the Putumayo Kofan method prescribed and prepared by a Brujo type of witchdoctorhe ends up going through an awful experience which makes him retch and vomit many times and cause his body to shake.

No money waiting for me check apparently stolenI am forced to the shoddy expedient of stealing my drinking alcohol from the university laboratory placed at disposal of the visiting scientist. As a Colombian and as person who is initiating herself in the world of ayahuasca, I find this book extremely offensive.

Burroughs and the Global Order. It seems Ginsberg initially considered offering Creeley another letter as well, as evidenced by a version of his “January 25, ” letter headed “2 letters from Bk III of Naked Lunch by Wm.

Shillingsburg, and Jerome J. On the other hand, while the text illustrates and so helps disseminate what Di Prima called “technological advances” in literary technique, it does absolutely nothing to clarify the therapeutic function cryptically claimed in the burroughhs. In fact, nearly a quarter of its words derive from “In Legters of Yage,” mainly from the “January 15” and “April 15” letters, although it is very difficult to be precise, given not only the nature of the cut-up method but the extent of this text’s internal repetition nearly half the first paragraph, for example, occurs scattered about in later paragraphs.

Whether aimed at author or editor, these are serious charges, and they raise highly relevant questions about censorship; they also beg yagf about authorship and agency and about the processes of textual production, transmission, and reception.