Synopses & Reviews
“Burroughss voice is hard, derisive, inventive, free, funny, serious, poetic, indelibly American.”
“Burroughs is the greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift.”
Carefully edited from more than 1000 of his personal correspondences, Rub Out the Words is a collection of 300 of the best letters of Naked Lunch author William S. Burroughs, written between 1959 and 1974. A truly remarkable compendium, it offers an eye-opening and insightful look into the artistic process and complex personal life of the legendary literary outlaw in the post-Beat era—providing a new understanding and appreciation of an author who stood alongside Paul Bowles and Charles Bukowski as one of the most creative and rebellious American artists of the 20th century.
A long anticipated collection of over 300 of Burroughss letters from the early 60s through the mid 70s, written to such recipients as Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowles, and the surrealist artist Brion Gysin, these letters shed remarkable light on the writers artistic process and literary experimentation, as well as his complex personal life, in this formative period. An intimate glimpse into the private life of an often misunderstood artist, Rub Out the Words is also an indelible portrait of one of the twentieth centurys most uncompromising literary figures.
About the Author
Born in 1914 to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, William S. Burroughs was one of the most significant people in twentieth-century American popular culture and literature. A novelist, poet, and essayist, he was a primary member of the Beat Generation, influential upon such writers as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Burroughs was the author of eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories, and four collections of essays, among them the 1959 classic Naked Lunch
. After living in Mexico City, Tangier, Paris, and London, Burroughs finally returned to America in 1974. He died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1997.
Bill Morgan is a writer and archival consultant. His previous books include The Typewriter Is Holy: The Complete, Uncensored History of the Beat Generation; I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg; and Beat Atlas: A State by State Guide to the Beat Generation in America. He has edited several collections of letters by Beat writers such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Gary Snyder. Morgan has worked as the archivist of many writers, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Oliver Sacks, Michael McClure, Abbie Hoffman, and Arthur Miller. He currently lives with his wife in an old farmhouse at the base of a Vermont mountain.