William S. Burroughs & Allen Ginsberg
The Yage Letters Redux.
City Lights Books, 180 pages, $13.95
reviewed by Anthony Daniels
It is a sign of the times, I suppose, that Oliver Harris, a professor at a respectable British university, can devote his scholarly endeavor to the study of the life and works of William Burroughs, not as a case history of psychopathology, or as an example of how bad writing can sustain a large reputation among weak-minded intellectuals, but as if his literary output were worthy of serious consideration. A third of this volume is devoted to the professor’s minute and scholarly reconstruction of how The Yage Letters came to be published in its present form (we learn, for example, that one part of it was first published by the no doubt aptly named Fuck You Press), which is as if all the resources of biblical scholarship were utilized to explicate the provenance...