Author(s): William S. Burroughs
A terrifying, surreal space-age odyssey, The Soft Machine initiated Burroughs' Cut-Up Trilogy that includes Nova Express and The Ticket That Exploded. The book draws the reader into an unmappable textual space, where nothing is true and everything is permitted, to make a total assault on the colonising powers of planet earth that have turned us all into machines. Edited and introduced by renowned Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris, this new edition clarifies for the first time the extraordinary history of The Soft Machine's writing and rewriting, demolishing the myths of Burroughs' chance-based writing methods and demonstrating for a new generation the significance of his greatest experiment.
Oliver Harris is professor of American literature at Keele University and the editor of The Letters of William S. Burroughs, 1945-1959 (1993), Junky: the Definitive Text of "Junk" (2003), The Yage Letters Redux (2006), and Everything Lost: The Latin American Notebook of William S. Burroughs (2008). He has published articles on film noir, the epistolary, and Beat Generation writing and the book William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination (2003). He is currently co-editing Naked Lunch@50: Anniversary Essays (2009) and working on a new twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Queer (forthcoming in 2010).