In The Soft Machine, William S. Burroughs begins an adventure that will take us into the dark recesses of his imagination, a region where nothing is sacred, nothing taboo. Continuing his ferocious verbal assault on hatred, hype, poverty, war, bureaucracy, and addiction in all its forms, Burroughs gives us a surreal space odyssey through the wounded galaxies in a book only he could create.
A total assault on the powers that turn humans into machines by writing and fixing our life scripts, Burroughs' original "cut-up" book was itself rewritten in three different forms. This new edition of The Soft Machine clarifies for the first time the extraordinary history of its writing and rewriting, demolishes the myths of his chance-based writing methods, and demonstrates for a new generation the significance of Burroughs' greatest experiment.
©1961, 1966 William S. Burroughs. © 2014 by the Estate of William S. Burroughs. Introduction © 2014 by Oliver Harris (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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"Literature as a cubist surrealist drug trip"
That is the simple explanation of an experiment in language and reality that is not science fiction, unless you consider Salvador Dali to be an impressionist, and Pablo Picasso a Photo realistic, because a simple word like bread is not and is all that you thought it is, money, food and torture in the space of two sentences, hole is a subway an anal cavity and a space in the earth all used interchangeably and without regard to your feelings or expectations these is writing that destroys moral and logic to instances of absolute lucidity and total confusion, writing that still shocks with its audacity and nihilism of all that is we want to believe is human and turns it into animalistic savagery that know no morality or forgiveness it is exposure to the subconscious most evil and the conscious most beautiful. It is a poem written in vile and excrement that rises above its basic elements by the magic of turning words into electrifying feelings into visions of an elemental power, it is language as a virus.
I exposed my mind to William S. Burroughs when in my twenty with Junky, Exterminator!, Queer, and The Naked Lunch, all mind bending indescribable contaminations into a world I would never explore on my own, he was the subculture not the glorified romanticised subculture of dressing up but the one you never come back from, the world were most enter to die, where cockroaches and William S. Burroughs are the only ones to survive, he held estrange beliefs and was erudite he spoke but not to you but the universe in declarations.
I saw him once in 1995 in Vancouver while in a concert by Laurie Anderson the album being promoted was Mister Heartbreak he had a poem in the album but I never thought he would be there but he appeared out of the darkness in an old fashion suit and hat and declared in a crackly voice “language is a virus from outer space” turned and left the stage. I never forgot that moment it is his contribution to language not a language but all of them.
If you are squeamish or easily offended this book is not for you, if you want plot or romance, not for you, if you want a mind bend with a kaleidoscopical injection of psicodelia and pina colada, go for it, if you like poetry or antipoems, images and electric shocks this is the book climb on board with your soft machine and be prepared to be liquefied or solidified into a tunnel that bends with no flexibility.
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