Editor: Alex Wermer-Colan
58 pages, softcover, saddle-stitch binding
The Travel Agency is on Fire is a selection of “cut-up” experiments by William S. Burroughs on texts by a range of canonical writers, from William Shakespeare and Arthur Rimbaud to William Wordsworth and James Joyce. Burroughs selected the source texts, cut them up, and juxtaposed the fragments to select random word combinations and create new compositions. Only made available in the archives since 2010, The Travel Agency is on Fire will fascinate scholars and Burroughs fans alike, as they illuminate the experimental processes that underlie Burroughs’ work.
On October 16th, 2016, Experiments in Opera commissioned Anagram Ensemble to perform 11 new musical compositions based on Burroughs' Cut-Ups from The Travel Agency is on Fire; click here to view the performances.
WILLIAM SEWARD BURROUGHS II (1914-1997), an American writer and artist, has often been called the “Godfather” of the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac named him the “greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift” and Norman Mailer declared him “the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius.” Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas (most famously his controversial Naked Lunch), six collections of short stories, and four collections of essays. He also collaborated on recordings with a variety of musicians and performers, and appeared in numerous films.
- Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, The New York Public Library, New York, NY
- Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
- Hayden Library Special Collections, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ