William S. Burroughs – A Word Is a Word Is a Collage (1965)

1960s: Days of Rage

Experimental Artworks – Kunsthalle Vienna

“… Voice dry as the voice of T.S. Eliot droning from a recording, accent still American after years away from America. Appearance as anonymous as a bank clerk’s, forgettable as a bank robber. Writer of books compared with Kafka, Joyce, and dirty postcards. His bruised readers nurse a sense of outrage and assault after trips through the Burroughs landscape, a desert of screams. All the time he talks he moves around the room, or groping for cigarettes, or gesturing with nervous hands. He lines the cigarette pack up with invisible parallels, rearranges the ash pattern in the ash tray. His work is sentences from newspapers, conversations, other authors, the title of something he is reading, things he hears, what is happening around him; it all makes a sort of collage. ‘Brion Gysin first suggested the collage technique to me in 1960. I had been working…

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