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William Burroughs & the Torso Murderer with Oliver Harris

By A S H Smyth  

With the publication of a new, 25th-anniversary edition of Queer, eminent William Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris has finished reediting the early trilogy of novels that preceded Burroughs’ infamous masterpiece, Naked Lunch. The story of that landmark book begins back in Mexico City in the early 1950s with the dramatic breakthrough Burroughs made as he started to write Queer, and this illustrated talk pieces together a trail of evidence from letters, manuscripts, old photographs, allusions to Shakespeare, Plato, pulp publishers, vaudeville acts, and a torso murderer.

Oliver Harris is Professor of American Literature at Keele University, and the editor/author of seven…

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