Burroughs, William S.
Cities of the Red Night
New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1981. First Edition. Hard Cover. In his article Burroughs' Theatre of Illusion: Cities of the Red Night, in the Spring 1984 issue of The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Steven Shapiro describes this work as WSB's "....most densely overdetermined work of fiction." With great insight, and fitting density, he writes that "Burroughs' discourse encompasses contradictory exigencies of obsession and freedom, replication and mutation, disaster and utopia, satire and celebration, unity and duality, reality and illusion, death and life. These contradictions mutually condition and contaminate one another in such a way that they can neither be separated into simple binary oppositions, nor resolved into unity by dialectical synthesis." (p. 65) This is the first work in WSB's great late-phase trilogy, followed by The Place of Dead Roads in 1983 and The Western Lands in 1987. This is the first edition of Cities of the Red Night, followed by various softcover and foreign editions including a most rare 1984 German language edition featuring fold-out illustrations by the legendary S. Clay Wilson that are vividly imaginative and not for the squeamish. This is a very important item, both in substance and as an essential WSB collectible. "....What had he glimpsed and hastily looked away from? Tiny creatures like translucent shrimp feeding at the flesh nipples...and something else....He did not push himself, knowing that a biological protective reaction was shielding him from knowledge he was unable to assimilate and handle.... I remember a dream of my childhood. I am in a beautiful garden. As I reach out to touch the flowers they wither under my hands. A nightmare feeling of foreboding and desolation comes over me as a great mushroom-shaped cloud darkens the earth. A few may get through the gate in time. Like Spain, I am bound to the past. " Near Fine / near fine. [Item #1057]