William S. Burroughs: Queer

Having previously only read by the author an anthologised excerpt from The Wild Boys, I expected this to be a book full of gay promiscuity. Luckily it was not so; but that was no help.

At the beginning I had the feeling that Burroughs tried to write something which was eventually written a decade later by Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man). Except that the actual result reminded me of what I think The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole must read like. Around the middle I began to suspect that the humour may be partly intentional; but the end again feels like a botched attempt to do something which was only done well later by somebody else (Gabriel García Márquez: Cien años de soledad).

After which I read the editor’s introduction (longer than a third of the novella) and discovering how autobiographic the book was reminded me of yet another one. In David Lodge’s Changing Places a teacher depreciates some students who “thought they could write the Great American Novel by just typing out their confessions and changing the names”.



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