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PORT OF SAINTS by William S. Burroughs


by William S. Burroughs

Pub Date: May 1st, 1980
ISBN: 0912652659
Publisher: Blue Wind

A revised version of a 1973 work, this is avant-gardist Burroughs once again with his "wild boys"—a punishingly pornographic fantasy of amoral, extraterrestrial, vengeful, homosexual youths wreaking havoc on the heterosexuality, political repression, and general awfulness of American society. The sci-fi elements involve cloning via anum, out-of-body travel, hideous mutations, and a death vaccine. There are the predictable Burroughs settings—Mexico and Marrakesh. The operative verb as always is "to explode." Yet, amid all this fetid, familiar material, a gentler and more attractive note occasionally surfaces: the autobiographical character of the "wild boy" leader Audrey Conley—a lonely 1928 St. Louis lad who writes adventure stories for himself, who vacations at exclusive summer colonies on Lake Huron. Burroughs has increasingly used this autobiographical persona in recent work, and through it he has limned a very specific WASP, Twenties, homosexual rich-boy atmosphere that can be very touching: "Audrey knew that all the boys were lying there looking at the stars and moonlight and sunny afternoons and the little peep shows here and there with flickering silver titles and others with bright colors and odors and raw naked flesh tight nuts crinkle to autumn leaves and spurt the Milky Way. His father points to Betelgeuse in the night sky above St. Louis." This sweet quiet of memory can sometimes be found beneath the metallic fury and comic wrath—but the bulk and surface here remain incorrigibly repellent.