By Edward S. Robinson
Shift Linguals traces a historical past of the cut-up strategy, the experimental writing perform came across through Brion Gysin and made recognized via Beat writer William S. Burroughs. From the groundbreaking works of Dada and Surrealism that lead the way for Burroughs' leap forward, in the course of the countercultural explosion of the Sixties, Shift Linguals explores the evolution of the cut-ups in the theoretical frameworks of postmodernism and the avant-garde to reach at this time and the electronic age. a few 50 years on from the 1st 'discovery' of the cut-ups in 1959, it is just now that we're actually in a position to detect the method's influence, not just on literature, yet on song and tradition in a broader feel. the results of over 9 years of analysis, this research represents the 1st sustained and designated research of the cut-ups as a story shape. With explorations of the works of Burroughs, Gysin, Kathy Acker, and John Giorno, it additionally comprises the 1st severe writing at the works of Claude Pélieu and Carl Weissner in English, in addition to the 1st in-depth dialogue of the writing of Stewart domestic to this point
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Additional info for Shift linguals : cut-up narratives from William S. Burroughs to the present
He began his programme of experimentation fully aware of the battle he was facing not only against the readers’ socially preconditioned mental functions and the inferred interfacing between the written and the spoken word, but also against the type of authority whose control he sought to challenge, claiming that “image and word are instruments of control used by the daily press and by such news magazines as Time, Life, Newsweek, and their English and Continental counterparts” (Burroughs & Odier 1974: 59).
New words and altered meanings are implicit in the process of cutting up, and could have been anticipated. Other results were not expected. (1993: 52) The production of words “not in the original text”, which appear by the rearrangement of words and phrases, and through the conjoining of part-words separated in the physical act of cutting the page and then spliced with other severed part-words could have been readily anticipated. The experimenters considered this to be a “revelation” of sorts, in terms of the potentials it suggested in the creation of narrative.
The first occurrence of his naming them such appears in his letter to Allen Ginsberg dated 23 May 1953 contained in The Yage Letters, in which he introduces the routine “Roosevelt After Inauguration”. Although Ginsberg’s footnote states that this is Burroughs’ first routine, this is not the case, as some of the routines contained in Naked Lunch actually date from as far back as 1938, but they had gone unclassified until this point. The Origin and Theory of the Cut-Ups 37 revolution. His strategy revolved around educating the reader to a new form of literature through the exposure of “the truth”, or, as Burroughs put it, “let them see what they actually eat and drink [and] what is on the end of that long newspaper spoon” (Burroughs 1959: 205).