The Adding Machine

The Adding Machine

by William S. Burroughs


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"Sheer pleasure. . . . Wonderfully entertaining."—Chicago Sun-Times

Acclaimed by Norman Mailer more than twenty years ago as "possibly the only American writer of genius," William S. Burroughs has produced a body of work unique in our time. In these scintillating essays, he writes wittily and wisely about himself, his interests, his influences, his friends and foes. He offers candid and not always flattering assessments of such diverse writers as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Samuel Beckett, and Marcel Proust. He ruminates on science and the often dubious paths into which it seems intent on leading us, whether into outer or inner space. He reviews his reviewers, explains his famous "cut-up" method, and discusses the role coincidence has played in his life and work. As satirist and parodist, William Burroughs has no peer, as these varied works, written over three decades, amply reveal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802121950
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/22/2013
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 652,772
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) was the author of numerous novels, including Naked Lunch, Nova Express, The Ticket That Exploded, The Soft Machine, and The Wild Boys. He is considered one of the twentieth century's most radical, innovative, and influential writers, and a founding member of the Beat Generation.

Date of Birth:

February 4, 1914

Date of Death:

August 2, 1997

Place of Birth:

St. Louis, Missouri

Place of Death:

Lawrence, Kansas


Los Alamos Ranch School; A.B., Harvard University, 1936; graduate study, 1938

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

The Name Is Burroughs 1

My Own Business 18

Les Voleurs 23

Beauty and the Bestseller 27

A Word to the Wise Guy 34

Technology of Writing 39

Creative Reading 46

Ten Years and a Billion Dollars 59

It Belongs to the Cucumbers 65

The Fall of Art 75

Hemingway 81

The Great Gatsby 87

The Johnson Family 91

Bugger the Queen 95

Civilian Defense 100

Sexual Conditioning 107

On Freud and the Unconscious 111

On Coincidence 121

Paris Please Stay the Same 129

God's Own Medicine 133

The Last Junky 138

The Limits of Control 143

The Hundred Year Plan 149

Women: A Biological Mistake? 153

Immortality 156

It Is Necessary to Travel… 168

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse 169

The Great Glut 177

POP and the Heroids 179

Mind War 182

In the Interests of National Security 185

Notes from Class Transcript 189

Who Did What Where and When? 191

An Epitaph 194

My Experiences with Wilhelm Reich's Orgone Box 197

How You Stop Smoking 200

The Maugham Curse 204

Remembering Jack Kerouac 209

Beckett and Proust 216

Graham Greene 221

Cutting Up Characters 224

A Review of the Reviewers 227

Light Reading 232

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