Tuesday, February 19, 2008

William Burroughs (a Glance at "Cities of the Red Night")

…his outward vision, I’m not sure exactly what that is, and to be frank, I doubt he ever knew (Mr. Burroughs died in 1997, about four months after his old sidekick Allen Ginsberg kick the bucket): perhaps he actually believed, and I believe he believed, his vision was his concern of or for society, civilization, their deadly march to the inferno, but I can’t believe that, not down deep anyhow. Anyone who has read Burroughs, knows he is already in the inferno, he need not look for it in the cities for us throughout the world, or South America, if anything, his books are full of nasty words—and his homosexual desires, drives and tendencies—the book should be rated for sex, a triple-X, as in this book I am talking about, nothing new on the corner; it should only be sold in a porno stores; I suppose someone will say, as always: you don’t need to read it. That is an argument in itself, and in this article I do not have time to confront that saying, or issue. Anyhow, I wish he’d smile in his pictures a little more—and nothing is ever said much on love and kindness, just nasty words, and how everybody, and everything, is wrong, perhaps he got off on the wrong planet upon birth, he should have jumped off going by Utopia (there are a lot of ‘if only’ and ‘but (s)' in his written pages. He lives in a world of ‘what if’…he actually should have stayed in one of those third world countries, and fought for freedom and equality there instead of blaming it all on America. Had he wrote in 1981, what he wrote in this book, in Russia, he would not have lived to see 1982, or China for that matter, or Cambodia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, a few countries in South America, and so forth. Thus, what I see in this book is more of his inward look at his sadistic contempt for his soul, society, and America (he talks too much in this book on these issues) which is to me a gift from God (all three), and of course he is God, in his world, what a way to live, and die; on the other hand his soul I trust in on an apocalyptic trip to nowhere in this book he is telling us, what we already know in a childish tale, looking for disaster and hoping to find it to prove to God all us humans, are deadbeats except him. I think he would have loved to take all the causalities of his books with him, on this trip, in the ‘Cities of the Red Night,’ his Beat followers, in particular, and bring them into his mindset, which is pride and disaster. And the book is a nasty trip to boot. Furthermore, after enmeshing those who have read, “Cities of the Red Night,” into his little nest, I’m sure he’d try to sell them some more of his nastiness. It took him ten-years to write the book, the pages must have about 150-words per page, and about 325-pages, that is about 31-pages a year, or a few pages a month, or a paragraph a day, sorry to say, the book could have been written overnight the way it reads, what a waste of a decade.
The story starts in the year 1848, and it is of course Captain Mission (what an obvious, and silly name, he needs to be original, not stupid sounding, that is a name I’d had picked out of a hat, at the age of ten), anyhow, he makes the first comment. On the second page we get into a misplaced society talk, it doesn’t take him long. He thinks he is a Margo Polo, or perhaps James Michener, in this book, yet he is still old nasty Burroughs. As you get into the second and third chapters, the rotgut sex comes into play, as nasty as nasty can be. This guys mind was in the sewer when he was born, and died, where this book belongs.

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