The editor of Partisan Review, William Phillips, asked me to review Daniel Odier’s “The Job,” a book of interviews with William S. Burroughs from Grove Press. This was in 1970.
I wrote the piece and then thought I’d test the limits of the magazine, which had already entered its long dotage, by cutting up what I’d written and submitting the result.
I think Phillips was a bit dumbfounded. To his credit however, and that of the managing editor, Caroline Rand Herron, the review was published as submitted, although under the category of “Variety.”
Why mention this now? No particular reason, except to note that the utterances that leaked out of the cut-up still seem as pertinent (dated references notwithstanding) as they did then.
We have heard children of the Jews on the way to the ovens. What are we a rerun already? The movie industry comes cheap. We live now in the dirty stockings of Adolph. Remember Apollo 7? Didn’t (Frank) Borman coo the gideon bible? So let’s stop praying.
Didn’t you tune in? We saw them armed with tanks and cameras alternatively under the dead stars of Vietam. Now throw back insult tapes. Betray & walk out! Joe Stalin’s Dick Nixon’s heavy camouflage alone forms that which it opposes. Namely you.
Have you been fooled? It is only natural. For the police, actuality overcame theory to attack you. That is their fix with the Senator whose idea is not to be where you arrive.
The review began:
With the recent publication of The Job Burroughs writes who do not listen. He advances against inhuman Ike who made radioactive image junk for greed, conspiring against the daily life of the masses — so the Authority habit and human smallness, whose methods were properly learned, became history with predatory intent. Can now be overthrown?
The answer, 36 years later, is: apparently not.