William S. Burroughs

Photograph by Richard Avedon / “William Burroughs, New York, July 9, 1975”/© The Richard Avedon Foundation

“I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves.”

So starts Naked Lunch, the touchstone novel by William S. Burroughs. That hardboiled riff, spoken by a junkie on the run, introduces a mélange of “episodes, misfortunes, and adventures,” which, the author said, have “no real plot, no beginning, no end.”

Material from the manuscripts that would eventually comprise Naked Lunch first appeared in the literary periodicals of the late 1950’s including The Black Mountain Review, Yugen, Chicago Review, and Big Table among many others. These periodicals also published Burroughs’ early experimentation with the cut-up method that led to books like Minutes To Go and Soft Machine, as well as other routines like Roosevelt after Inauguration.

The following seeks to list those periodicals that gave folks a first glimpse of episodes, experiments, and adventures before they were widely published.


William S. Burroughs checklist:

Section C: Contributions to Periodicals


References consulted:

Maynard, Joe and Barry Miles. William S. Burroughs: A Bibliography, 1953-73: Unlocking Inspector Lee’s Word Hoard
Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1978. (ref. M&M)

Schottlaender, Brian E. C. Anything But Routine: A Selectively Annotated Bibliography of William S. Burroughs
San Diego: UC San Diego Libraries, 2012 (ref. BS)

Shoaf, Eric C. Collecting William S. Burroughs in Print: A Checklist
Rumford: Ratishna Books, 2000


Online resources:

· International Times – Archive
· Reality Studio
· Schottlaender Bibliography
· Shoaf Bibliography