The Future of Extinction: William S. Burroughs’ The Western Lands

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Abstract

In this article, I draw on William S. Burroughs’ The Western Lands to think about what François Laruelle has termed a “generic humanity.” This generic humanity broadens and expands our ethical obligations towards those who have not yet been included in humanity. Burroughs’ emphasis in the novel on flattened time, magic, and death as transformation is used to show how we can make Mankind extinct from our way of thinking. Burroughs’ novel is thus an example of a “philo-fiction,” a work of literature that allows us to see the world differently.
Original languageEnglish
Article number142
JournalHumanities
Volume9
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
ISSN2076-0787
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Ecocriticism
  • Posthumanism
  • Non-philosophy
  • William S Burroughs
  • The Western Lands

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