Rare Book & Manuscript Library

William S. Burroughs papers, 1957-1976

Series II: Writings, 1958-1969

The Writings series is the largest series in the collection and contains working drafts of 1961's Grove Press Edition of The Soft Machine, as well as annotated drafts and galley proofs of Burroughs's substantial 1965 revision of the novel published by Grove Press. There are also drafts and galleys of Nova Express; a corrected, signed galley proof of The Naked Lunch; and full typescript drafts of The Yage Letters and Junkie. This series also contains a collection of prose experiments conducted by Burroughs utilizing the cut-up technique that he utilized in much of his longer fiction, as well as experiments in using a grid form to intersplice different texts together.

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Box 1 Folder 8 "A Brief Statement on The Naked Lunch The Soft Machine and The Nova Express" circa, 1963

(carbon copy in WSB's hand)

Box 1 Folder 9 Dealer Catalogs and Book Reviews

Box 1 Folder 10 "Epic Prose Poem," circa, 1963

Box 1 Folder 11-16 Experimental Prose, circa, 1958-1965, (6 Folders)

Box 1 Folder 17 "Johnny 23" (with Editor's Corrections)

Box 5 Junkie-- Manuscript

The Naked Lunch

Box 1 Folder 18 Signed Galley Proofs

(original proof, 1964 Burroughs's signature, 1969)

Box 1 Folder 19 Recording of Burroughs reading Naked Lunch, undated

Please follow these links for digitized clips of the sections The Rube, Meeting of International Conference..., and The Exterminator Does a Good Job

Box 2 Folder 1 A Distant Hand Lifted, 1961-1964

Nova Express

Box 2 Folder 2 Galley Proofs, 1964

The Soft Machine

Box 2 Folder 3 Typescript with autograph corrections, 1960

(for 1961 Olympia Press Edition)

Box 2 Folder 4 Typescript with autograph corrections, 1963

(This is dated 1963, but it is likely the 129 page manuscript, dating from November 1962, that Burroughs submitted to Olympia Press for their planned 1963 revised edition of the book which never appeared.)

Box 2 Folder 5 Galley Proofs- Grove Press Edition, 1965

Box 2 Folder 6 Related Correspondence, 1963-1966

Box 2 Folder 7 "The Strange Bed," circa, 1961-1962

(Part ofThe Ticket that Exploded)

Box 3 Folder 1 The Yage Letters- Draft, undated