Sara's Reviews > Rub Out the Words: The Letters, 1959-1974

Rub Out the Words by William S. Burroughs
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: memoir-biography, won-on-goodreads
Read from March 27 to April 10, 2012

I was lucky to win a copy of this book via the GoodReads giveaway.

This is a wildly intimate collection of letters written by Mr. Burroughs to his friends, publishers, fellow artists, son and more. It is a good record of his travels from Paris to London to the US etc. He describes some of his famous writing and art techniques - the "cut up" process, the flicker machine, collaging etc. He discusses Scientology quite a bit as well as other spiritual experiences with and without the aid of drugs.

Among the highlights of these letters is a hilarious recounting of his failed experiments with Timothy Leary, who he is not in sync with, and claims was almost killed by in failed drug experiments.

His letters are wry, bitter, hilarious, loving and all across the emotional spectrum. It helps you understand this most fabled writer in his own words, in a way that his works alone cannot.

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