My Education: A Book of Dreams

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My Education: A Book of Dreams
First edition
AuthorWilliam S. Burroughs
PublisherViking Press
Publication date
January 1995
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages193 pp
813/.54 20
LC ClassPS3552.U75 M9 1995
My Education redirects here. You may be looking for the article An Education, about the film.

My Education: A Book of Dreams (1995) (ISBN 0-14-009454-7) is the final novel by William S. Burroughs to be published before his death in 1997. It is a collection of dreams, taken from various decades, along with a few comments about the War on Drugs and paragraphs created with the cut-up technique. The book is dedicated to Michael Emerton (January 18, 1966 - November 4, 1992).

Explanation of the novel's title[edit]

The title is explained in the very first dream, dated 1959: Burroughs is trying to board an airplane, but a woman at the ticket counter "with the cold waxen face of an intergalactic bureaucrat" refuses him passage, informing him, "You haven't had your education yet."

Plot summary[edit]

Most of the dreams are concerned with mundane affairs: talking to his friends Ian Sommerville, Allen Ginsberg and Brion Gysin; protecting his cats; trying to get sex, drugs or something to eat. There are flying dreams, erotic suitcase-packing dreams, dreams of being bullied by men in uniforms. There are references to strange drugs such as "Jade" and "Bogomolets Anti-Human Serum 125." In addition, there are other segments which seem unconcerned with dreams at all, such as a chapter where Burroughs instructs the reader on how to create botulism. There is a place he refers to as the Land of the Dead, which, like Interzone, seems to be a conglomeration of many cities: Tangiers, London, Paris, and others.