Former Shows & Episodes

Word Patriots

Mark Seinfelt

Word Patriots – Desautels on Big Bad Bill Burroughs

This week on Word Patriots@Webtalkradio, Ed Desautels returns for one of our periodic shows devoted to past masters, heroic word patriots who overcame great obstacles, who wrote in new and innovative ways, or who defied convention by visiting formerly taboo topics and thereby opened new fields of exploration for literature. This week he and I will be discussing the compositional techniques of William S. Burroughs, the author of “Naked Lunch,” “ The Adding Machine,” “Nova Express,” and “The Western Lands.” Big Bad Bill is one of Ed’s literary heroes and favorite authors. We will discuss Burroughs’ influence on Ed’s own work and how Ed employs a variation of Burroughs’ famous cut-up and fold-in technique. We also touch on Burroughs’ polyvocal approach, his innate talent for rendering vocal impersonations in narratives, the feeling of timelessness in his later work, his great stage presence and whether authors should write with performance in mind. Desautels is the author of the novel “Flicker in the Porthole Glass,” which was published by Mammoth Books in 2002 and drew favorable notice in “The Review of Contemporary Fiction.” His fictive critical essay, “Totally Wired: Prepare Your Affidavits of Explanation,” appeared in the critical anthology “Retaking The Universe: William S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization,” published by Pluto Press in 2004. Currently he is at work on a new novel “Housebreaking the Muse.” He also maintains his own blog, “Maximum Fiction: Writing up the Multiverse.” If you would like to know more about my books, be sure to visit my website: To find out more about Ed Desautels and his work check out his blog: