Dead Fingers Do Tell Tales

A review by Arthur S. Nusbaum:

William S. Burroughs’ Dead Fingers Talk combines texts from the Olympia Press editions of Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine The Ticket That Exploded, along with additional material, cut-up & folded-in to form a new work. The previously published texts from which it partly derives are themselves different from the UK & USA editions of those works.  DFT was first issued in the UK as a hardcover in dust jacket on November 15, 1963 (that’s right, only one week before JFK’s assassination).  Two softcover editions with lurid junky-shooting-himself-up covers were issued in 1966 & 1970, also in the UK, as described & shown as items A7a-c in Maynard & Miles’William S. Burroughs- A Bibliography, 1953-73, the indispensable skullerly resource for WSB collectors.  No other editions that I’m aware of have appeared, & these UK editions are long out of print & increasingly rare, especially the first & only hardcover edition.  A typically short-lived but influential UK punk band of the late 1970s was named after this work, & the title of their album,  Storm the Reality Studios, was of course also taken from/inspired by WSB.  Too bad there aren’t many to go around, no home should be without it.  A particularly exponential exercise in subverting the pre-recorded universe, perhaps the ultimate exemplar of his ever-controversial cut-up phase.

**

You can purchase this product, and others, at Third Mind Books.

Related posts:

Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the founder and editor of Beatdom magazine and the author of The Dog Farm. He travels a lot, and is currently working as a professor in China. His latest book is called Scientologist! William S. Burroughs the Weird Cult. You can read more about and by David at his blog, www.davidswills.com or on Tumblr.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>