Skip

"Are these the words of the all powerful boards and syndicates of the Earth?"
September 27, 2004 1:24 PM   Subscribe

William S. Burroughs demonstrates his cut-up method in this excellent film sequence.
(.swf, 10mb, related discussion)
posted by moonbird (19 comments total)

 
I've been on a Burroughs binge for the last couple of months and really liked this. Thanks!
posted by angry modem at 2:55 PM on September 27, 2004


What modem said.
posted by dong_resin at 3:18 PM on September 27, 2004


I'd hate to accuse William S Burroughs of outright incoherence, but...
posted by xmutex at 3:23 PM on September 27, 2004


I don't see nothing. The direct file link gives a 404 error. Please hope me.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:39 PM on September 27, 2004


I'd hate to accuse William S Burroughs of outright incoherence, but...

But you'd be about as smart as someone claiming that the music of Ornette Coleman or Charles Mingus was "justa buncha goddamned noise."

Alas, I don't get a file either.
posted by digaman at 5:31 PM on September 27, 2004


10.7MB? Craaazy, man!
posted by DenOfSizer at 6:04 PM on September 27, 2004


someone host it quick :)
posted by Satapher at 6:58 PM on September 27, 2004


People should really think about coralising links to big files like this.

Then I'd get to see them. :(
posted by wilberforce at 8:22 PM on September 27, 2004


I'm just adding this comment so I'll remember to come back when this works. Thanks moonbird.
posted by muckster at 8:39 PM on September 27, 2004


seems to work ok for me, but i've mirrored it here just in case, for all the mugwumps and jacobites.
posted by moonbird at 9:23 PM on September 27, 2004


Read his final trilogy (Place of Dead Roads, Cities of the Red Night, the Western Lands) for a look at the Burroughs cut-up method at its most mature point. Gorgeous. Now, if I can just get this SWF downloaded.
posted by squirrel at 9:36 PM on September 27, 2004


Argh I wanna smack this man. I bought "The Ticket That Exploded" and I can make it as far as the second page before I start realizing I'm going insane. Challenging is fine (say, Georges Perec or J G Ballard).. but oblique for oblique's sake is a bit silly.
posted by wackybrit at 1:01 AM on September 28, 2004


I find WSB's writing to very, very clear -- just not linear in the standard fashion of most writing served up like steaming chili sin carne on the cafeteria line. Also, funny as hell, in a dark vein.

Is this really so tough to parse out? From "Nova Express" --

LISTEN TO MY LAST WORDS anywhere. Listen to my last words any world. Listen all you boards syndicates and governments of the earth. And you powers behind what filth consummated in what lavatory to take what is not yours. To sell the ground from unborn feet forever --


"Don't let them see us. Don't tell them what we are doing --"


Are these the words of the all-powerful boards and syndicates of the earth?


"For God's sake don't let that Coca-Cola thing out -- "


"Not The Cancer Deal with The Venusians -- "


"Not The Green Deal - Don't show them that -- "


"Not The Orgasm Death -- "


"Not the ovens -- "


Listen: I call you all. Show your cards all players. Pay it all pay it all pay it all back. Play it all pay it all play it all back. For all to see. In Times Square. In Picadilly.


"Premature. Premature. Give us a little more time."


Time for what? More lies? Premature? Premature for who? I say to all these words are not premature. These words may be too late. Minutes to go. Minutes to foe goal -


"Top Secret - Classified - For The Board - The Elite - The Initiates -


Are these the words of the all-powerful boards and syndicates of the earth? These are the words of liars cowards collaborators traitors. Liars who want time for more lies, Cowards who can not face your "dogs" your "gooks" your "errand boys" your "human animals" with the truth...
posted by digaman at 2:45 AM on September 28, 2004


The Ticket That Exploded is not the book you are looking for.

*makes Jedi hand gesture*

Try the trilogy.
posted by squirrel at 4:44 AM on September 28, 2004


Thanks for finding this, moonbird. I'd classify myself as a long-time Burroughs "respecter" (I certainly don't like his work, nor do I think I admire him much, but I definitely respect what he accomplished) and although I've heard of the Nova Bird film, I've never seen it. This kind of rarity is what MetaFilter should be about...
posted by JollyWanker at 5:50 AM on September 28, 2004


For the most part Burroughs isn't something you're going to enjoy in the straight-ahead narrative sense, it's the feel his kind of storytelling inspires that's entertaining.
Kind like David Lynch movies, only much more so.
posted by dong_resin at 6:59 AM on September 28, 2004


LISTEN TO MY LAST WORDS anywhere. Listen to my last words any world. Listen all you boards syndicates and governments of the earth. And you powers behind what filth consummated in what lavatory to take what is not yours. To sell the ground from unborn feet forever --

Your snippet is a great example. This is fine reading if you don't mind reading, going back, reading again, and picking it apart until you get an idea of what the concept actually is.. (a lot of art films are like this too - Magnolia, say).. but if you want to read through in one without feeling like you're working, I think it's just not the right stuff to be reading.

I think it's possible to explore arcane or bizarre concepts without mangling the language, allowing the user to get his head around concepts, rather than your writing technique. For example, The Atrocity Exhibition.

I will, of course, keep giving Burroughs a try.
posted by wackybrit at 9:53 PM on September 28, 2004


hes not mangling his language, youre letting your language mangle you ;)
posted by Satapher at 10:11 PM on September 28, 2004


In Soviet Russia...
posted by wackybrit at 2:08 AM on September 29, 2004


« Older voter databases   |   Lost Boys of Sudan Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post