Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Desire Called AmericaBiopolitics, Utopia, and the Literary Commons$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Christian P. Haines

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823286942

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823286942.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

A Revolutionary Haunt: Utopian Frontiers in William S. Burroughs’s Late Trilogy

A Revolutionary Haunt: Utopian Frontiers in William S. Burroughs’s Late Trilogy

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 1 A Revolutionary Haunt: Utopian Frontiers in William S. Burroughs’s Late Trilogy
Source:
A Desire Called America
Author(s):

Christian P. Haines

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823286942.003.0002

This chapter examines William S. Burroughs’ late trilogy of novels—Cities of the Red Night (1981), The Place of Dead Roads (1983), and The Western Lands (1987)—as a critical response to American neoliberalism. It analyzes what Burroughs terms the trilogy’s retroactive utopianism, or the way in which it reactivates the potential of historical revolutions (including the American Revolution and the global revolts of the 1960s) as a way of reimagining the future of global politics. Focusing on The Place of Dead Roads, the chapter shows how Burroughs combines science fiction and the Western to envision the Frontier in utopian terms. It argues that Burroughs’s fiction builds on the politics of the multitude, or the antisystemic politics of the late 1990s to the present, articulating a vision of the nation in terms of communal property, egalitarian relations, and democratic self-rule.

Keywords:   biopolitics, William S. Burroughs, Michael Hardt, multitude, Antonio Negri, neoliberalism, revolution, utopia

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .