<-return to Experimental Writing Theory Page

2002
Methuen, Inc.
733 Third Avenue
New York, NY
10017
The Soft Machine - William S. Burroughs
Although this may not be Burroughs most well known novel (Naked Lunch probably serves that role), it is my personal favourite. This is the novel that spawned the term "Heavy Metal" : "URANIUM WILLY the Heavy Metal Kid [...] His plan called for total exposure - Wise up all the marks everywhere Show them the rigged wheel - Storm the Reality Studio and retake the universe -". It reads mostly like straight text, but then suddenly you are re-reading different permutations of the last several sentences. Once you are comfortable switching into cut-up mode, it seems completely plausible and ordinary that you should lapse into this dreamlike reordering of the words, as if the initial text were only tentative anyway, only a superficially obvious (and therefore dubious) way of describing something beyond the reach of conventional language. James Joyce once said that "What is clear and concise can't deal with reality, for what is real is to be surrounded by mystery."
<-return to Experimental Writing Theory Page