Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 11
August 18 - August 25, 1997

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The Pope of Avant Garde
A eulogy for William S. Burroughs. [2]
Tom Huckabee

Culture Shock
News and views of Burque's art scene. [3]
Tom Crider

The Book of Zines
Chip Rowe's new book gets the once-over. [4]
Blake de Pastino

Mississippi Mud
Southern-fried scandal makes for delicious reading. [5]
Christine Wald-Hopkins

Lesser Evils
Unusual detective fiction set in World War II France. [6]
Emil Franzi

Grave Decision Making
How to put on a good show when you croak. [7]
A. Dashing

Speed Reader
Mechanical Brides, Fame and Folly, Migrant Song and Franco American Dreams get the read through this week. [8]
Blake de Pastino, Tracey Cooley, Jessica English and Julie Birnbaum

Call of the Wild
Reviews of The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone and The Wild Child: The Unsolved Mystery of Kaspar Hauser. [9]
Debbie Gilbert & Leonard Gill

Now What?
Love to read? Need some clever ideas? Our library of resources and staff picks are guaranteed to turn on plenty of mental light bulbs via your electrified eye sockets. [10]

Build your own custom paper. To find out more about this feature, click here.

Talk Back
Our online BBS is just like the Algonquin Round Table, only electronic, sober, and without all the famous people.


illiam S. Burroughs, now there was an odd one: My first awareness of him came in the form of acidic comments spewed forth on avant-garde records by the likes of Laurie Anderson and Material. What was wrong with his voice, I wondered? He sounded like a grown-up version of Froggie from The Little Rascals.

Not much later I would steal a copy of Naked Lunch and find myself giggling nervously over "The Talking Asshole," a really creepy description of the process by which men ruin all that is good within themselves. It was all too appropriate when he showed up in Drugstore Cowboy as a granddaddy of self-destruction, a combination wise man and "Don't become like me" cautionary symbol.

Reading Jack Kerouac's On the Road, I realized he was the decrepit junkie Neal and Jack kept visiting; even then, in the '50s, he was thought of as old. A man who killed his own wife in a drug-induced William Tell-style accident(?), Burroughs was an antithesis to innocence, someone who'd been to the depths and survived to tell about it in a crisp, painful drawl.

That voice still crackled in my ears as I read this memoir exploring the intensely non-conformist contours of William S. Burroughs' mind. A second tribute, found here, provides a more succinct summary of Burroughs' unusual life.

But we ought to save some space for living writers. Here are reviews of a few of their recent works:

Touched by Carolyn Haines

Stone Killer by J. Robert Janes

The Book of Zines edited by Chip Rowe

Mechanical Brides by Ellen Lupton

The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone by Thomas McNamee

In Memoriam: A Practical Guide to Planning a Memorial Service

Note that this last one isn't dedicated to Burroughs, since he was anything but practical.

From The Vaults

Cowboy Cum Laude
J.P.S. Brown is a Tucson novelist who hasn't been getting his share of respect n recent years, though he may be the quintessential regional writer. [08-04-97]
Sam Negri

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