Book Review: Junky

William Burroughs’ first novel, Junky, serves as the foundation upon which all of his following work is built. It frankly speaks to the banality of life and how it is shattered by incorrigible drug abuse. He takes us, with shocking lucidity, through all the formative events that inexorably lead our protagonist, Bill Lee, to trying junk; then into the grueling highs and lows of acquiring and kicking habits. The reader follows as he navigates the routine obstacles to obtaining the fix, and begins to sense that junk itself is Bill’s preferred means of coming in contact with some transcendent reality. This attainment becomes his sole motivation. He is drawn to it, an average man seeking relief from the tedium of his mundane existence. In this way, he is unsettlingly familiar: just another bug hopelessly seeking liberation in an almighty buglight. Thankfully, this particular bug has a talent for writing grounded in rich tradition, yet unlike any to come before or after him. – Jackson Ward

Word and Hokusai of the week


Online Open Access Resources

Wellcome Images


Muscles of the back: partial dissection of a seated woman, showing the bones and muscles of the back and shoulder. Colour mezzotint by J. F. Gautier d’Agoty, 1745/1746.

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Audio Arts in the Tate Archive

From the Tate Archive, “In 1973 William Furlong and Barry Barker established Audio Arts as a cassette-based audio magazine. It provided a dedicated space for artists and art-world professionals to speak about their work in a free and unmediated way.” The Tate has digitized volumes and supplements, alongside selected archive images for each audio-cassette. Check out Volume 2, Number 1 featuring Buckminster Fuller and Joseph Beuys.

Getty Publications’ Virtual Library

Getty Publications has announced their Virtual Library with hundreds of titles available to read online or for download.

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