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.