The Tape Cut-ups

November 9, 2010

A friend of mine sent me this video a while ago and after today’s discussion of how some L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets explored ways to assemble/disassemble language, I thought it’d be appropriate to post.  The video adds a type of video cut-up to William S. Burroughs recording of “Origin and Theory of the Tape Cut-ups” which is followed by an example given by Brion Gysin who introduced Burroughs to the technique.  They applied the technique to printed text as well as audio clippings which I think is fascinating.  I particularly like the image during Gysin’s part.

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“When you cut into the present the future leaks out.” -Burroughs

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Thoughts on Kaddish

September 16, 2010

After class today I was stuck on that final image in Naomi’s letter to Ginsberg: the key being in the bars of the window. I felt like there was something else that I wanted to articulate about it, but I didn’t necessarily know what that was or why I thought so. Later this afternoon, I was talking to a friend on the phone about a class on Beat poetry she is taking at the Yale Divinity School. Currently they are reading Burroughs, and she quoted this to me:

“A man who doesn’t know he’s in prison can never escape. As soon as you realise the planet and your body constitute an almost escape-proof jail, as soon as you know you are in prison – you have a possibility to escape.”

William S. Burroughs

So, feedback  time: do you guys think this is what Naomi was trying to say in her letter? Can we see her bars as manifestations of body and earth, or is that taking it too far? Or can we ever take the Beats, interpretively, too far?

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