“Burroughs voice is hard, derisive, inventive, free, funny, serious, poetic, indelibly American, a voice in which one hears transistor radios and old movies and all the clichés and all the cons and all the newspapers, all the peculiar optimism, all the failure . . . . It is precisely this voicecomplex, subtle, allusivethat is the fine thing about The Soft Machine and about Burroughs.”Joan Didion
The Soft Machine
The Restored Text
978-0-8021-2211-7 • $16.00 • Paperback • May 2014
A total assault on the powers that turn humans into machines by writing and fixing our life scripts, Burroughs’s original “cut-up” book was itself rewritten in three different forms. This new edition of The Soft Machine clarifies for the first time the extraordinary history of its writing and rewriting, demolishes the myths of his chance-based writing methods, and demonstrates for a new generation the significance of Burroughs’s greatest experiment.
“The voice in The Soft Machine is talking about time. . . . [It] slips deliberately and frequently, sometimes ironically and sometimes not . . . rattles off elliptical allusions, throws away joke after outrageous joke, shifts gear in midsentence, never falters. It is precisely this voicecomplex, subtle, allusive that is the fine thing about The Soft Machine and about Burroughs.” Joan Didion
“[Burroughs’s] great fictions [show] his superb, hard-edged satirical visions of cancerous and addictive consumerism; his elegiac and poetic invocations of sadness and dislocation; his enormous fertility of ideas and imagery.” Will Self
“Out of the dirt, the excrement, the couplings, Burroughs makes a disgusting, exciting poetry.” Sunday Times