This article uses William S. Burroughs’s novel The Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead as a mechanism for understanding contemporary constructions of the child. Placing Burroughs’s novel in conversation with Lee Edelman’s No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive, the article explores how Burroughs’s conception of the child (as suggested in The Wild Boys) offers a provocatively powerful alternative to Edelman’s “Child,” the latter lashed forever to “reproductive futurity” whereas the former radically resists it and the conservative, homophobic status quo it serves to perpetuate. There’s also some stuff about actual children, living on the streets or otherwise.

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