20 February 2005

Queer by William Burroughs

I finished reading Queer a couple of days ago and just wanted to add a few things to the review that I've linked to in the [output] doohickey.

Whilst Junkie felt much like a straight story it is in Queer that we begin to see the way out places Burroughs will go in his writing. It is essentially an autobiographical account, told also in a pretty straight story, but it flirts around the surreal edge of junk sickness that would dominate Naked Lunch. Bill talks about ideas which he puts into that seminal work and we also begin to see the evolution of his routine-based style, but here it seems more like a desperate ploy to hold anybody's attension so Burroughs won't be lonely in dive bars than practice at a literary technique. Queer fills an important hole in the narrative of William S. Burroughs life between Junkie and Naked Lunch but remains neither of them.