poetix

we murder to dissect
There's a preface to Junky written by an associate of Burroughs's - might even have been Ginsberg, I'm not sure - which says something along the lines of "his emotional self-discipline makes even the liberties he takes seem justifiable". In other words, some people are grown-up enough or together enough or self-aware enough or whatever it is to get away with being amoral, because somehow even the worst misdeeds don't compromise their fundamental spiritual integrity. Very particularly American mode of exculpatory self-mythologising, I think. Bukowski's well into it too.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
Although I would say of Burroughs himself that he's as far as possible indifferent to exculpatory self-mythologising - the romantic outlaw myth sort of accumulated around him, and greased the wheels for him somewhat, but his own myth of himself is somehow deeply solitary, disconnected. Almost I wonder whether to add him to my personal aspie canon, but I think the scorched-earth character of his emotional life and social instincts is more down to psychosexual (and, obviously, pharmacological) than neurological happenstance, if I can put it that way.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Who's in your aspie canon? And are they largely people you've diagnosed yourself?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
https://realitystudio.org/criticism/notes-on-burroughs/

Notes on Burroughs (1964)
By Marshall McLuhan

1. Today men’s nerves surround us; they have gone outside as electrical environment. The human nervous system itself can be reprogrammed biologically as readily as any radio network can alter its fare. Burroughs has dedicated Naked Lunch to the first proposition, and Nova Express (both Grove Press) to the second. Naked Lunch records private strategies of culture in the electric age. Nova Express indicates some of the “corporate” responses and adventures of the Subliminal Kid who is living in a universe which seems to be someone else’s insides. Both books are a kind of engineer’s report of the terrain hazards and mandatory processes, which exist in the new electric environment...
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
tbh it's mostly people who are sorta-kinda aspie-adjacent, or "autistish", rather than confirmed aspies (or people I strongly reckon were aspie). Or, it's my personal canon of people I resonate with along aspie lines, whether they themselves were strictly aspie or not.

Among the poets, Coleridge for sure, and both Larkin and Hill, in markedly different ways. Hill's actual diagnoses I believe were OCD and depression, but there is a withdrawn quality about so much of the poetry that suggests a desire to make something singular and lasting out of some involuted corner of one's inner space much more than a desire to "communicate". Larkin's entire oeuvre is full of complaints that he just doesn't understand how other people work, what animates them, and why it doesn't work for him (while also suggesting that being someone for whom it doesn't work makes him somehow more perceptive, less deceivable). He's a slightly odd case, because alongside all the proto-incel whining and sexual solipsism he also, quite famously, managed to keep multiple sexual partners on the go, and presumably had something to offer them besides self-absorbed misery.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
Poetix, dunno if you'd be interested but I just read Clive James's collection of essays about Larkin and it's made me reassess my opinions of Larkin's character (and its importance/relevance to his published poetry). One of the essays is here:

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/...-inside-philip-larkins-extraordinary-everyday
On that subject, the suave, saturnine and velvet-voiced Paulin has always needed to look into a mirror and realise the extent to which he has not been handicapped even by his blessings. As a poet, Paulin looks the part. When Larkin looked into a mirror he saw an imposter.
That is a nice line. Larkin's is very much not the poetry of someone who fits, or thinks they fit, into the persona of a poet, although he does try to craft a kind of anti-persona in its negative image.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Version tell corpsey to read the book with us this weekend. He will regret it if he doesn't cos he will feel left out and isolated. Desperate lonely.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
It took me a long time to get it through my head that WSB was quite a terrible person. Misogynist, pederast sex tourist, wife killer, conspiracy-theorising crank, someone who evaded responsibility all his life long due to family money and connections. He had a magnetic quality all the same. I treasured all the writings, including the collected letters, the dream diary, the essays ("Women: A Biological Mistake?"). He seemed like someone who had made a breakthrough of some kind; and actually, in terms of what literature is capable of, I really think he did.
I've noticed there are some terrible people who are sort of likeable and who I have to remind myself of how terrible they are and some where it just isn't an issue, even if I like their work, because I just don't like them. Burroughs would be an example of the former, Celine and Henry Miller the latter.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Version tell corpsey to read the book with us this weekend. He will regret it if he doesn't cos he will feel left out and isolated. Desperate lonely.
I didn't realise I was reading it this weekend either tbh. I can though. And Corpsey should too.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
You are yeah. Starting this weekend finishing by Friday. We could start earlier but I think yyaldrin said he's not ready till the weekend.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
You've read that already haven't you? Sure you've quoted from it here
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
Ballard has a line I've never forgotten about how miniaturization will eventually result in computing devices just becoming part of the fabric of reality, pursuing their own infra-human goals in the background of everything. I feel like we're nearly there already.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Kinga
Feb 19, 2013
Kinga rated it did not like it
I know it is experimental. It reminds me of those alchemists' experiments when they tried to produce gold from excrements. And failed. Ultimately they were just dabbling in shit.

Shauny_32
Jul 21, 2015
Shauny_32 rated it did not like it
Self-indulgent shite. Not enjoyable. I love Most of Burroughs work including Naked Lunch but this was too inpenetrable. It just was not fun. It was simply a junkie tapping away at his type writer, alone in his cheap motel room thinking how great it might be to write a book completely fucked. Sorry pal, it's shite.

Jeff rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction, did-not-finish
UNREADABLE.

Benjamin Hare
May 27, 2019
Benjamin Hare rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction, nebula1966
To call this book trash would be an insult to trash. In order to adequately convey my level of disgust with this work would require a descent into profanity, or perhaps biology. The contents are a word salad masquerading as a novel; there are grammatically correct sentences grouped into chapters, but that is the extent of it’s qualification as literature. What story exists in the smear of senseless text isn’t worth the long effort required to drag it out. I’ve read that William S. Burroughs was a genius, but having slogged my way through this affront to literature, I can henceforth ignore any statements regarding the supposed intelligence of the author.

Hopefully, I never have to read anything remotely like “Nova Express” again in my lifetime. When I finished the book I tore out all the pages and chucked the pieces into the rubbish bin. This book is a waste of time.
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
Kinga
Feb 19, 2013
Kinga rated it did not like it
I know it is experimental. It reminds me of those alchemists' experiments when they tried to produce gold from excrements. And failed. Ultimately they were just dabbling in shit.

Shauny_32
Jul 21, 2015
Shauny_32 rated it did not like it
Self-indulgent shite. Not enjoyable. I love Most of Burroughs work including Naked Lunch but this was too inpenetrable. It just was not fun. It was simply a junkie tapping away at his type writer, alone in his cheap motel room thinking how great it might be to write a book completely fucked. Sorry pal, it's shite.

Jeff rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction, did-not-finish
UNREADABLE.

Benjamin Hare
May 27, 2019
Benjamin Hare rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction, nebula1966
To call this book trash would be an insult to trash. In order to adequately convey my level of disgust with this work would require a descent into profanity, or perhaps biology. The contents are a word salad masquerading as a novel; there are grammatically correct sentences grouped into chapters, but that is the extent of it’s qualification as literature. What story exists in the smear of senseless text isn’t worth the long effort required to drag it out. I’ve read that William S. Burroughs was a genius, but having slogged my way through this affront to literature, I can henceforth ignore any statements regarding the supposed intelligence of the author.

Hopefully, I never have to read anything remotely like “Nova Express” again in my lifetime. When I finished the book I tore out all the pages and chucked the pieces into the rubbish bin. This book is a waste of time.
well, i was watching some interviews with burroughs yesterday and he did say that he took his cut-up method too far at some points. getting too excited by the technique. also, he mentioned that there are two different versions (english and american) of nova express.
 
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