Books of the Dead: Postmortem Politics in Novels by Mailer, Burroughs, Acker, and Pynchon

  title={Books of the Dead: Postmortem Politics in Novels by Mailer, Burroughs, Acker, and Pynchon},
  author={Kathryn Hume},
  journal={Modern Philology},
  pages={417 - 444}
  • K. Hume
  • Published 1 February 2000
  • Art
  • Modern Philology
Why should contemporary writers resurrect ancient ritual instructions known in the West as books of the dead? ' Norman Mailer delved laboriously into Egyptian religious practices in Ancient Evenings (1983), and he was accused, for his pains, of pandering to a popular taste for "upmarket novelty locations."2 William Burroughs's use of the Egyptian otherworld in The Western Lands (1987) and Thomas Pynchon's of the Tibetan in Vineland (1990) have been noted by critics but not seriously examined… 
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