William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century

William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century

Edited by Joan Hawkins and Henry Alexander Wermer-Colan, contributions by Charles Cannon and Tony A. Brewer
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/17/2019
Format: Hardback 32 color illus., 23 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-04132-6
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Description

William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century is the definitive book on Burroughs' overarching cut-up project and its relevance to the American twentieth century. Burroughs's Nova Trilogy ( The Soft Machine, Nova Express, and The Ticket That Exploded) remains the best-known of his textual cut-up creations, but he committed more than a decade of his life to searching out multimedia for use in works of collage. By cutting up, folding in, and splicing together newspapers, magazines, letters, book reviews, classical literature, audio recordings, photographs, and films, Burroughs created an eclectic and wide-ranging countercultural archive. This collection includes previously unpublished work by Burroughs such as cut-ups of work written by his son, cut-ups of critical responses to his own work, collages on the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, excerpts from his dream journals, and some of the few diary entries that Burroughs wrote about his wife, Joan.


William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century also features original essays, interviews, and discussions by established Burroughs scholars, respected artists, and people who encountered Burroughs. The essays consider Burroughs from a range of starting points—literary studies, media studies, popular culture, gender studies, post-colonialism, history, and geography. Ultimately, the collection situates Burroughs as a central artist and thinker of his time and considers his insights on political and social problems that have become even more dire in ours.

Author Bio

Joan Hawkins is Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in the Media School at Indiana University. She is author of Cutting Edge: Art-Horror and the Horrific Avant-garde and editor of the anthology Downtown Film and TV Culture, 1975-2001. She co-organized the Burroughs Century conference and symposium held at Indiana University Bloomington in 2014.

Alex Wermer-Colan is a Council of Library and Information Resources Postdoctoral Fellow at Temple Universitys Digital Scholarship Center. He researched and edited The Travel Agency is on Fire, a collection of unpublished archival materials, prose poems Burroughs produced by cutting up a range of canonical texts. Wermer-Colan was the organizer of the William S. Burroughs Centennial Conference held at the City University of New York in 2014.

 

Reviews

"

Cutting up the Century is the book that scholars and enthusiasts of Burroughs' avant-garde practices have been waiting for.

"


Douglas Field, author of All Those Strangers: The Art and Lives of James Baldwin

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments


Collage of Time Harvard Lampoon Parody, William S. Burroughs, facsimile, 1965


Introduction: Cutting Up the Century / Alex Wermer-Colan and Joan Hawkins


Biographical Timeline


Metamorphosis


1. Cutting Up the Century / Oliver Harris


The Reality Studio



SECTION I: ICON/VIRAL


Deposition of the Ugly Spirit, William S. Burroughs, typescript, Villa Muniria, Summer 1961


2. Burroughs and Biography: An Interview with Barry Miles / Oliver Harris


Cutting Up the Critics, typescripts, 1962–64


3. The Nova Convention: Celebrating the Burroughs of Downtown New York / Kristen Galvin


Nova Convention Poster, Sylvere Lotringer, facsimile, 1978


4. The Disembodied Fry: William S. Burroughs and Vocal Performance / Landon Palmer


Cut-up with Limericks, William S. Burroughs, typescript, 1971


5. William S. Burroughs' Spirit of Collaboration / Allen Hibbard



SECTION II: SPACE/TIME


6. Burroughs and the Biosphere, 1974–1997 / Kathelin Gray


The Permissive Society, William S. Burroughs, typescript, 1971


7. Beat Regionalism: Burroughs in Mexico, Burroughs in Women's Studies / Aaron Nyerges


Collage of Newsclippings, William S. Burroughs, facsimile, 1970


8. Interference Zones: William Burroughs in the Interstices of Globalization / Timothy S. Murphy


On China


9. Cut-Up City: William S. Burroughs' "St. Louis Return" / Eric Sandweiss



SECTION III: WORD/IMAGE


On Addiction


10. William S. Burroughs' Imperial Decadence: Subversive Literature in the Cynical Age of the American Century / Alex Wermer-Colan


Opium Collage, William S. Burroughs, typescript, Dream Rat Calendar, Monday Bellevue 4, 1970


11. Naked Lunch and the Art of Incompleteness: The Use of Genre in Burroughs' Book and Cronenberg's Film / Joshua Vasquez


The Fall of Art


12. Queer Outlaws Losing: The Betrayal of the Outlaw Underground in The Place of Dead Roads / Kurt Hemmer


Thinking in Colors


13. Rimbaud and Genet, Burroughs' Favorite Mirrors / Véronique Lane



SECTION IV: CUT/FOLD


On the Cut-Up


14. Cross the Wounded Galaxies: A Conversation about the Cut-Up Trilogy / Davis Schneiderman and Oliver Harris


The Photo Collage: Watergate


15. "Word FallingPhoto Falling": William S. Burroughs and the Word as Written Image / Blake Stricklin


Cutting Up Scientology


16. Mutable Forms: The Proto-Ecology of William Burroughs' Early Cut-Ups / Chad Weidner



SECTION V: BODY/SPIRIT


The Wild Boys, A Pornographic Screenplay


17. William S. Burroughs, Transcendence Porn, and The Ticket That Exploded / Katharine Streip


Dream Note on Indictment for Murdering Joan, William S. Burroughs


18. Gender Trouble: A Critical Roundtable on Burroughs and Gender / Ann Douglas, Anne Waldman, and Regina Weinreich


Cutting Up Last Words


19. The Burroughs Effect / Anne Waldman


Root Face, William S. Burroughs, facsimile, 1987



Index