William Burroughs: An Annotated Bibliography Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Transl. by Sheila Glaser, University of Michigan Press, 1984. In this book, Jean Baudrillard applies a semiotic interpretation to reality, arguing that a whole series of simulacra have been superimposed on the external world, making it difficult to distinguish between illusion and fabrication. The map is an important concept in Baudrillard’s analysis and the author deconstructs man’s traditional reliance on map as indices of definite designation, arguing instead that maps can be misleading.
As compared to pre-modernist and modernist ages, when it was still possible to distinguish between appearance and reality, in the postmodern world, the simulacra precede our perception of reality. Burroughs, William S. The ticket that exploded. Grove Press, 1987. This novel by Brurroughs was published in 1962 as a second instalment in his Nova Trilogy. The novel’s main theme is the manipulation of the mind via a series of subliminal or physical means. As in many of his novels, Burroughs views language as a virus and lays bare its manipulative force. Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle.
New York: Zone Books, 1994. In this book, Debord explores the spectacular nature of capitalist society and of the capital city, pointing to the fact that the spectacle has become omnipresent, it has completely enveloped reality. Debord thus raises a critique of capital society whose spectacle has engendered a phenomenology of separation: the worker has become infinitely separated from the object of production: “The spectacle is the technological version of the exiling of human powers into a “world beyond”; the culmination of humanity’s internal separation” (The Society of the Spectacle, p. 18).
Derrida, Jacques: Of Grammatology. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Of Grammatology is structured in two parts: “Writing before the Letter” and “Nature, Culture, writing”. In this book, Derrida analyzes the old debate between history and philosophy. Derrida also discusses the differences between the Saussurean-defined terms, signifier and signified pointing to their embedded distinction. Another concept that Derrida advances in his book is that of a philosophy of presence, the only one capable to make the signifiers coincide with the ultimate signified – God.
Harris, Oliver (Oliver C. G. ). William Burroughs and the secret of fascination. Southern Illinois University Press, c2003. In this book, Oliver Harris sought to demystify the general received impression of Burroughs’ fascination in popular culture, while pondering, at the same time, on the nature of fascination in general. According to Harris, the major cause for the fascination produced by Burroughs lay in the writer’s love for letter-writing, which definitively influenced his style. Lee, Witness. Word virus : the William S. Burroughs reader.
Grove Press, 1998. This novel is the last of Burroughs’ Nova trilogy. It too deals with many of the author’s favourite themes: apomorphine, Reich’s orgone theory, Hubbard’s Scientology, Burroughs’s theory of junk, sense withdrawal tanks, etc. Lydenberg, Robin. Word cultures : radical theory and practice in William S. Burroughs’ fiction. University of Illinois Press, 1987. Robyn Lindenberg’s study on William Burroughs is an extremely useful source of exploration of the major deconstructionist and post-structuralist themes in Burrough’s work.
In this critic’s view, Burroughs was a deconstructionist “avant la letter” as all of his work seems to undermine pre-conceived ideas by foregrounding how language and the environment can be manipulated so as to disempower man. Sobieszek, Robert A. Ports of entry : William S. Burroughs and the arts. Los Angeles County Museum of Art ; 1996. This collection includes 153 art works by William S. Burroughs, which the author created between 1960 and 1970. This collection is very interesting in that it allows the reader to examine the ways in which Burroughs imagined the “cut-up” device in visual terms.
In a way, Burroughs’ artistic expression in the field of visual arts could represent the writer’s ultimate attempt to rub off the word-virus.
Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Transl. by Sheila Glaser, University of Michigan Press, 1984. Burroughs, William S. The ticket that exploded. Grove Press, 1987. Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. New York: Zone Books, 1994. Derrida, Jacques: Of Grammatology. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Dolan, Frederick M. “The Poetics of Postmodern Subversion:
The Politics of Writing in William S. Burroughs’s “The Western Lands””, pp. 534-551. Contemporary Literature © 1991 University of Wisconsin Press. Harris, Oliver (Oliver C. G. ). William Burroughs and the secret of fascination. Southern Illinois University Press, c2003. Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Inquiry into the Conditions of Cultural Change. Blackwell Publishing, 1991. Jameson, Frederic. Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Duke University Press, 1992. Lee, Witness. Word virus : the William S. Burroughs reader. Grove Press, 1998.
The soft machine ; Nova express ; The wild boys : three novels. Grove Press, 1988. Lydenberg, Robin. Word cultures : radical theory and practice in William S. Burroughs’ fiction. University of Illinois Press, 1987. Morgan, Ted. Literary outlaw : the life and times of William S. Burroughs. H. Holt, 1988. Murphy, Timothy S. Wising Up the Marks. The Amodern William Burroughs. University of California Press, 1997. Pepper, Andrew.
“State Power Matters: Power, the State, and Political Struggle in the Post-War American Novel”. Textual Practice, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 467-91, December 2005. Philips, James. “Life in Space: William Burroughs and the Limits of the Society of Control”. Literature and Aesthetics: The Journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 95-112, June 2006. Schneiderman, Davis. Retaking the universe : William S. Burroughs in the age of globalization. Pluto Press, 2004. Sobieszek, Robert A. Ports of entry : William S. Burroughs and the arts. Los Angeles County Museum of Art ; 1996. Zurbrugg, Nicholas. The Parameters of Postmodernism. Routledge, UK, 1993.