My Education

This “Book of Dreams” presents itself at first as a fragmented collection of journal entries, visionary snippets stolen from sleep. But gradually it strikes the reader that there are recurring themes, a sort of organic narrative. Is Burroughs editing his accounts to suggest a story? Or are his dreams in fact an ongoing report from the Land of the Dead, intersecting the stories of his own life at odd angles? The effect is disconcerting, and in the hollow of unasked questions, potent images well up, whispering of mortality and intrigue, of addiction and “universal damage and loss.” The reader feels privy to some secret ritual of language, where the Word appears almost naked, close to its origins in the bedrock of the Imagination. [New York: Viking]

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