The Great Writing Caper

William S. Bur­roughs often sug­gested that one’s dreams are a valu­able tar­get for the writer to plun­der. But what he never said, nor made explicit, was how the dreams of oth­ers might pro­vide a writer with direc­tion and mate­r­ial. And yet it hap­pened to him: the dream of a lit­er­ary char­ac­ter, as it occurs inside a novel of the past, appears to have given Bur­roughs a mas­sive trea­sure cache.

The dream is Raskolnikov’s, in Crime and Pun­ish­ment. And it brings William S. Bur­roughs to life. His whole oeu­vre seems to spring from it, is out­lined in the passage…

First pub­lished in Empty Mir­ror.