In January 1953, William S. Burroughs began a seven month expedition into the jungles of South America, ostensibly to find yage, the fabled hallucinogen of the Amazon. But Burroughs also cast his anthropological-satiric eye over the local regimes to record trademark vignettes of political and psychic malaise. From the notebooks he kept and the letters he wrote home to Allen Ginsberg, Burroughs composed a narrative of his adventures that was first published piecemeal in magazines and eventually appeared ten years later as “In Search of Yage” within The Yage Letters.For this edition, Oliver Harris has gone back to the original manuscripts and untangled the history of the text, telling the story of its genesis and cultural importance. Also included in this edition are extensive materials, never before published, by both Burroughs and Ginsberg that shed new light on their adventures in exploration and writing.
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