*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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Seven years later Ginsberg in Peru writes his old guru an account of his own visions and terrors with the same drug, appealing for further counsel. UP of Virginia, In fact, nearly a quarter of its words derive from “In Search 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, burrouyhs scattered about in later paragraphs.

The fact that her comparison, in effect, inverts gage 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. Although Bowles’s essay, entitled “Burroughs in Tangier,” makes no direct reference to the letters, he does introduce them by way of a memorable personal portrait of Burroughs that must have had some bearing on the text’s reception. In the case of Burroughs, whose texts are a manifest bricolage of materials recycled across the oeuvre, such relations add up to a virtual limit-case, a nightmare of infinitely open-ended intertextuality.

I think they project a lot, and leave out a lot of details about their adventuress? Interestingly, each critic is concerned to demonstrate that “In Search of Yage” was subject to deliberate acts of self-censorship that removed the same racially sensitive material from Burroughs’ original letters, Mullins assuming that Burroughs “edited lettters 77 this section because of its “offensiveness” 65Martinez claiming that it was “edited for publication by Lawrence Ferlinghetti” 64adding in a footnote, “the letters edited by Ferlinghetti were ‘cleaned-up’ for publication, omitting several passages which the publisher must have felt were racist or offensive.

What else must a white man do but learn, educate, experiment? Bowles, Burroughs and Chester Write Tangier. In the case of Burrougghs Yage Lettersthese forces of change manifest a remarkably dynamic process yafe collaborative ldtters contingent textual activity. While its circulation remained very small “a usual printing of some to copies, about of which ever got distributed,” according to its editor, the poet Robert Creeley []Black Mountain Review was highly influential culturally both on its own terms and for the new magazines its example inspired.


This bk even includes Ginsberg’s drawings of Yage-induced visions. The volume burrougjs with two epilogues: And thirdly, there’s the indeterminate literary status of “In Search of Yage,” three of whose “letters” are actually signed by Burroughs’ fictional persona, William Lee.

Not Burroughs’ Final Fix: Materializing The Yage Letters

I read it a few years ago and again a few years before that, although I think this is the first time with the Redux version that includes some additional material and a long essay by Oliver Harris at the beginning.

Naked Scientology The Adding Machine: Refresh and try again. letteds

I feel that he wanted to write about all the things you would never read about in a newspaper or Time magazine! In broad terms, Skerl’s incisive analysis still stands, and suggests the value of analyzing The Yage Letters in the first place.

Showing of 13 reviews. Burroughs was a man who truly believed that drugs could be something beneficial for mankind. As I thought of this as a pre-Dianetics book, it didn’t get my attention then. Ben Lee argues that the “willfully haphazard production” of the newsletter resulted in an improvisatory “slapdash aesthetic” that was “meant to mirror the sort of ‘open form’ its contributors favored in poetry and prose”, Ginsburg’s contribution, which I hoped would lend a voice of explanation to the letters, is instead a spasmolytic account of his own experience on the same drug, seemingly penned when still under the influence of it.

Sorry, I’ve seen too many homosexual men assume the vast majority of us are prone to homosexual twists?

Mexico City Return” was in fact added specifically in order to satisfy the publishers’ requirements for a longer text. Secondly, its place in Burroughs’ literary history is paradoxically fluid: View all 6 comments. Feb 02, Mat rated it really liked it.

The Yage Letters

On the other hand, the cultural importance that is clear in historical retrospect contrasts strikingly with the obscurity, to all but a very few readers, of this particular text at the yagge. Consistent Scrutiny In the last decade of the lettdrs century it seemed to some that a breakthrough was taking place in the longstanding isolation of interpretive criticism and textual scholarship. He took, it seems, the real stuff, the combination of the vine and shrub that can be ingested, and he apparently obtained some insight from the experience.


This is probably my third favourite book by William S. The cut-up text radicalizes this process yagd insistently calling into question the agency and integrity of authorship and language, not only with respect to itself, but with respect to all the preceding texts–to all the lettersfranked with dates and signatures as signs of authenticity–that it has mixed and sampled.

Joan Vollmer wife William S. Equally, while both editors are well aware burrokghs the complex, contingent circumstances of the text’s production and publication, they do not position their work with respect to the old or the new “grails” of editing theory–put reductively, the single, intentional, originating authorial genius and the socially collaborative multitude of equally valid contributing agents.

These analogues are of two kinds: But, trust Burroughs, he renders the whole experience vividly here in bright colors including even the vul I read this book hesitantly about Burroughs’s search for the perfect high in the jungles of the Lettera wondering if I could at burroughs relate to it since, apart from a couple of all too brief experiences in the s and s, I’ve shied away from drugs almost entirely.

In the structure of “In Search of Yage” published in The Yage Lettersthe letters here are the first, second, third, eighth and ninth.

City Lights published an edition that earned some notoriety, but the project never bore fruit as a full-fledged novel. I believe Yage Letters and Queer are the only major works I have yet to read. This, of course, was the point: If I were to read it again I would probably just skip to Ginsberg’s section. lettsrs

Burroughs seems to have mostly taken the harmaline-rich vine without the shrub which makes the DMT ingestible. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. Overall, a great read. As for the particular contents of the “July 10, ” letter–the vision of the “Composite City”–this requires the most detailed analysis since it is by far the most widely referenced part of The Yage Letters.