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Goldsboro Books

DEADFINGERSTALK

Dead Fingers Talk

Dead Fingers Talk

by William Burroughs

Publisher Calder

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Regular price £185.00
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About the book

Dead Fingers Talk, first published in 1963, was the fifth novel published by Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs. The book was originally published by John Calder in association with Olympia Press. The book combines sections from Burroughs' earlier novels, Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and The Ticket That Exploded, in an attempt to create a new narrative. It is sometimes referred to as a compilation, but this is technically incorrect. Its plot cannot be easily described, although it can be said to focus upon conspiracy and the hero getting away from the police.

Although the publisher claimed that it contained previously unpublished material, this was not identified until the Restored edition of 2020, edited by Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris, who argued that the text's novelty in any case depended on recognising it as an early experimental remix or mash-up. Dead Fingers Talk, like many of Burroughs' works, was controversial upon its release. It was the subject of a scathing review in the Times Literary Supplement that resulted in a war of words between supporters and detractors of the novel (and Burroughs in general) that played out in the magazine's letters page for months. Never published outside the UK or translated, the book itself is considered one of the rarer of Burroughs' novels, and was out of print for almost 50 years before the 2020 Restored edition.

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About the Author

William Burroughs

William Seward Burroughs II also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, short story writer, satirist, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author who wrote in the paranoid fiction genre, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century". His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

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