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The Job: Interviews with William S. Burroughs
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The Job: Interviews with William S. Burroughs

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  711 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The Job is William S. Burroughs at work, attacking our traditional values, condemning what he calls "the American nightmare," and expressing his often barbed views on Scientology, the police, orgone therapy, history, women, writing, poitics, sex, drugs, and death. His conversation splices images of death-by-hanging with elevators and airports, the story of his drug addicti ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 4th 1989 by Penguin Books (first published 1969)
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tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
This is, for me, the peak of Burroughs' articulation of his philosophy. All of the incredible ideas that he'd put into his novels that may've seemed a bit unclear b/c of the fantasticness of their presentation are presented here in a straight discursive form. Here's a sample of some classic Burroughs from page 75:

"Q: Any comments on the assassination of Robert Kennedy?

"A: It seems likely that the assassination was arranged by the far right, and that the arrangers are now taking this opportunit
...more
Brian
It's amazing how ahead of his time Burroughs, born 1914, really was. Even if you don't care much for his fiction work, or its hypermasculinized eye, Burroughs is always lucid and provocative in his essays and more "formal" work. Whether he's talking about the written vs. spoken word (and their viral origins and ongoing manipulable realities), the American Nightmare (the non-dream), information viruses ("memes" -- before meme theory was formally invented; this was 1969), control systems, hallucin ...more
Dan
For those who might not know, William S. Burroughs was associated with members of the original Beat Generation (he co-wrote a novel with Jack Kerouac and lived for a time with Allen Ginsberg). His best-known work is Naked Lunch, and in general his fiction is dystopic—sort of like J.G. Ballard, but with a lot more gangsters and cowboys. And heroin. And auto-erotic asphyxiation.

The Job reprints several interviews William S. Burroughs had with Daniel Odier in the late sixties. The questions and ans
...more
Nicholas
Interview format interspersed with stream of consciousness passages,mainly concerned with thought control through the word virus acting on the reactive mind perpetuating an unworkable establishment.Both readable and highly informative.
Blayne
Very interesting and highly recommended. The format is interesting. He uses questions posed by an "interviewer" as a platform to discuss most everything - Scientology, cut ups, language, media, and other odd ramblings. Very interesting.

A few years ago, I made art from cutting up cardboard refuse and making collages, mostly abstract, from the refuse. Having not ever read Burroughs before, I found his theories on cut-up technique very interesting. His description of the "dreamachine" inspired me t
...more
Frat38
I'd read Naked Lunch, twice, as my introduction into Burroughs, which is like viewing Jackson Pollock or Jasper Johns as an introduction into paint. To say the least, I'd been discouraged by this, after both reads. Now that I've read "The Job" I understand Burroughs on a level I wish I'd always known. He is a prophet, and a visionary madman. I'm glad. Excellent read.
D.
I loved this book. It offers a fairly deep insight in Burroughs' mind, even though he sometimes gave me the feeling he wasn't totally serious. Also sheds a new light on some of his work I read (before and after). He pretty much gives us a clearer perspective on the often incredible and outrageous ideas he put in his novels.
Dave
Probably the first work of nonfiction that meant a lot to me. Burroughs's wild fiction and collections of sentences like Soft Machine got me started, but his ideas put forth in interviews did so much more for me. This is what made me into a serious person, curious about the world and the possible.
Eric
This book has been a long and close companion to me. Such brilliance articulated with such dry wit. This collection of interviews delivers the fundamental philosophy which powers WSB's fiction work. This should be required reading in high schools.
Rob
Money is shit.
Mat
An extremely important book that should be taught to high school students.
Burroughs certainly did have some crackpot ideas such as his advocation of disintegrating the family unit as he believes it to be redundant. On the other hand, his knowledge of drugs is incredible and could do much good in a world in which drugs are vastly misunderstood.
His ideas on how cut-ups of the word and film can be applied in various ways are intriguing and seem to offer some promising possibilities on how to fight
...more
Steve
After years of checking out a page here and there in bookstores....i finally got my hands on this for a proper cover to cover intake...the famous cut-up method is explained in great detail here...Not so much the Gysin method with random written cut-ups, but audio cut-ups using three or more tape recorders...WB gets into it it for the majority of this book...Totally brilliant and relevant now...Really the only thing different from this book being just as relevant today is the level of optimism th ...more
oh carlyn what key
interviews with burroughs that i found very educational and will continue to use as reference. granted he's a raging mysogonist, but so many of burroughs' ideas and philosophies are so spot-on that i can't help but love the bastard. there is a short story (can't remember the title) in this volume in which a guy is referring to the mistress of the manor, stating: "She expects me to go down in the ground and grow there myself." in context and out, it's a new favorite sentence.
Tosh
A book length Q&A session with one of the great literary cranks. It's all here, his obsession with guns, drugs, govt. institutions, and his love for sci-fi pulp literature. Oh and the French author/editor of this conversation is the guy who wrote DIVA.
Jeremy
Insight into the mind of William Burroughs. Some of this stuff is quite interesting, some of it seems quite dated.
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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, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century ...more
More about William S. Burroughs...
Naked Lunch Junky Queer And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks The Soft Machine (The Nova Trilogy #1)

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“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.” 623 likes
“The dark Gods of pain are surfacing from the immemorial filth of time...” 3 likes
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