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Modern Literature Commons

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Purdue University

intercultural studies

Latina/o Studies

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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Burroughs's Postcolonial Visions In The Yage Letters, Melanie Keomany Dec 2016

Burroughs's Postcolonial Visions In The Yage Letters, Melanie Keomany

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her article "Burroughs's Postcolonial Visions in The Yage Letters" Melanie Keomany discusses the contents of William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg's The Yage Letters which could be dismissed as openly bigoted and racist. Keomany posits that the text reveals valuable connections between the colonial expansion of the eighteenth century and 1950s USA and Latin America. By re-shaping Burroughs's lived experiences in the Amazon into a text where the narrator William Lee mimics sardonically and parodically the colonial scientific explorer, The Yage Letters provides valuable insight into the complex postcolonial context of the mid-twentieth century.