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…

Campbell’s Soup I

William S. Bur­roughs used to say (via Brion Gysin) that writ­ing was fifty years behind paint­ing.

I’ve been test­ing that.

A half cen­tu­ry ago, Pop Art framed the visu­al media envi­ron­ment.

Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup I” port­fo­lio of silkscreens was print­ed in 1968.

Fifty years lat­er, edi­tor John Tre­fry selects an abridged ver­sion of my “Campbell’s Soup I” for Burn­ing House Press.

The Kurt Cobain Game

Sui­cide is tricky. For the indi­vid­ual, it promis­es an absolute end to a cer­tain kind of tem­po­ral pain, sure — but then, just as quick­ly, it trans­fers that pain onto oth­ers. And accord­ing to its alge­bra, the mul­ti­pli­ers can be huge.

In the absence of Mr. Cobain there’s a lit­tle game I’ve played, The Kurt Cobain Game. I wrote about it for Hobart today: “Kurt Cobain Doesn’t Know Much Of Any­thing.”