Predatory Sex Aliens
- Call Me Burroughs: A Life by Barry Miles
Twelve, 718 pp, £17.00, January, ISBN 978 1 4555 1195 2
Depending where you look, the William Burroughs centenary has either occasioned an outpouring of variously celebratory and carping prose, or a trickle of grudging acknowledgment in outlets thought to speak for the literary establishment. Writing on anything of passing public interest triggers an online avalanche of ad hominem posturing which quickly renders the original topic, whatever it was, numbingly opaque. The more exclusive realm in which people are paid for their opinions produces a similar effect, but with more concentrated ruthlessness and usually greater economy. Burroughs has been streaking across this ghastly spectrum since early February.