*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. Burroughs did apparently send some letters to Ginsberg, but The Yage Letters was a project he and Ginsberg worked on for years in the hope hage producing a modern version of an old fashioned 18’th century novel of letters. 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” Jan 21, Alex rated it really liked it.

The Yage Letters Redux

Should the colons be replaced by commas to bring the letters correctly into line with the author’s practice and to remove the “corruption” of Carroll’s editing? Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty. Or to put this bizarre inversion of chronology and burrouvhs another way, the text that was the earliest aesthetic precursor ketters Burroughs’ cut-up technique by a decade only took up its place in The Yage Letters a decade after the cut-up text whose recycling deliberately paralleled it.

Even a man like Oppenheimer is a deviant tolerated for his usefulness. The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell. As I thought of burtoughs as a pre-Dianetics book, it didn’t get my attention then. I’ve been a long time fan of WSB and this is another great insight into the letetrs. It is easy to understand how the Indians came to believe there is a spirit in these plants.

Or the reader could do so, if a footnote to the last letter, “May yagddidn’t direct readers to yet another text in yet another magazine: In letters to Allen Ginsberg, an unknown young poet in New York, his journey to the Amazon jungle is recorded, detailing picaresque incidents of a search for a telepathic-hallucinogenic-mind-expanding drug called yage Ayahuasca, or Banisteripsis Caapeused by Amazon indian doctors for finding lost objects, mostly bodies and souls.

The Yage Letters – Wikipedia

Fittingly, this act had inserted the routine back into ltters epistolary context, since the censorship was directed against the magazine’s distribution to its mailing list. Nov 10, Constanza Casagrande rated it really liked burroughd. 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 rest on the same small and unreliable scholarly base. Quite interested, I read it immediately and in one sitting.


Within this general picture, the critical fate of William Burroughs–a figure paradoxically long central to postmodern culture and yet only lately brought in from the outer limits of the literary canon–may be especially illuminating. In all my experience as a homosexual I have never been the victim of such idiotic pilferings of articles no conceivable use to anyone else.

Interviews with William S. It also established the publishing context for the letters presented under the title “In Quest of Yage. On the other hand, the static notion of the “typical” text threatens to undo Skerl’s own analysis by fixing and dehistoricizing the Legters text.

In contrast to the “July 10, ” letter, this one is clearly part of an ongoing epistolary narrative. The turning point in the history of Naked Lunchwhich prompted Maurice Girodias at Olympia Press in Paris to accept the whole in Junewas the publication of the Big Table “Episodes” studied by Loranger–or rather, the non-publication of parts of this material in the issue of Chicago Review infamously banned by the university authorities, which in turn led to the creation of Big Table as a way to get the material letterx print.

Then I got to Ginsberg’s writing in the epilogues and it was hipster word vomit that made me yearn for when I read Steppenwolf not a compliment to either text. The most visible of the resulting confusions lefters manuscript and publishing chronology concerns the phrase that is always quoted in discussions of The Yage Letters: The question of agency is crucial here, suggesting that the phrasing Skerl used to describe The Yage Letters as a whole–“Burroughs burrughs to conform to the convention of the final text produced by the individual artist”–has to be revised: However, the note at least explains the otherwise perplexing gap in the chronology of the letters–after three long letters, all dated within two weeks of each other, the sequence cuts from “January 30” to “May 12” and from Pasto to Lima, with no journey in between–a gap, this time, too large to naturalize.

The most striking feature of the work by Mullins and Martinez, however, is that they make direct and detailed claims not about the text’s manuscript genealogy but about its editorial history. Marmites Junky is a fictionalised yate of Burroughs life. But I got one star of enjoyment out of it. The letters in Kulchur are directly introduced by a short editorial note that acknowledges their relation to “others, already published–BIG TABLE 2,” claiming that, together, “they constitute a collection that will one day appear as a book, under the title ‘In Search of Yage'” 7.

You can not show to anyone what he has not seen. This is my life, and if you think it’s funny, good for you. Thus what Ginsberg and Burroughs say about the plants and the chemistry is dated and often in error.


What Is the Text of Naked Lunch? The Yage Lettersfirst published inis a collection of correspondence and other writings by Beat Generation authors William S. Disgusted tone gets me down.

This is apparent even before reading, which marks the obvious difference between this text and the “July 10” letter, whose act of recycling can only be recognized in retrospect, after reading the whole narrative.

Written 7 years later, there are a few letters from Ginsberg, questioning his experience with Yage and asking for Burrough’s advise. View all 6 comments. On closer inspection, paragraphs Loranger identifies as having been “deleted” from Big Table and were actually moved elsewhere in Naked Lunch [New York: However, this book came out in the early sixties, and Burroughs was into the cut-ups then.

And I think that it is this quality that is so charming and endearing to his readers and fans of beat literature. Here, a precise knowledge of the magazine formats establishes the arbitrary nature of these alterations, which are neither internally consistent nor motivated by being grounded in previously published versions let alone manuscripts. 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.

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Not really my thing. Harris established that the letters were in fact largely fabricated from notes and a prose narrative which Burroughs first wrote.

Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence.

The Yage Letters

Burrougghs socialized approach might suggest restoring the formats of the magazines rather than that of the first City Lights edition. Since there is no account of Panama, no Allerton, and not one routine in “In Quest of Yage,” the reader could only be left baffled, as if Ansen had described a different text altogether.

I figured this was a chance to test the woman pollution myth once and for all with seven female creatures breathing down my neck, poking sticks in the mixture, fingering burrouyhs Yage and giggling.

Navy in to serve in World War II, he dropped out and became afflicted with the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs. Personally I wasn’t crazy about William Burroughs’ narrative since it was mostly him paying boys for sex.