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Phil Hine - Bitter Venoms The Magical Worlds of William Burroughs

I first encountered the writings of William Burroughs at the age of fifteen when a friend at school lent me a copy of Exterminator. The book opened up avenues of experience ("kicks") that I had only half-suspected were possible: the twilight worlds of drugs, astronauts, wild boys, and twisted visions. I read Burroughs avidly, twisting his worlds together with my own half-formed visions and fantasies. at first, merely flashing out my daydreams with his landscapes, and later entering into them. I’m greatly indebted to Burroughs writing for enabling me to discover the "nightmare culture" of sexuality, drugs, and magick. Though I was first turned on to magick through the drawings of Austin Osman Spare, I realized that it was the work of Burroughs that awoke in me the desire to visit alien landscapes and cross into the various "zones" forbidden by society in general. Anyhow, enough of this preamble. This is the first in a series of articles looking at some of the magical themes which crop up throughout the writings of William Burroughs.

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