Saturday, March 26, 2011
Hila made a great link between the Surrealist collages I wrote about yesterday and cut-up poems. Dada and Surreal poets used cut-up and collage techniques, and these ideas were developed further and popularised by Brion Gysin and William S Burroughs in the 1950s. So I thought I would share this clip of Gysin and Burroughs discussing cut-ups; it also contains examples of their cut-ups (as well as footage of Burroughs' missing pinky finger - his original cut-up?). Burroughs extended his prose cut-ups techniques to audio cut-ups and film cut-ups (i.e. montages). He also apparently invented the phrase "heavy metal". Burroughs is one of the wonders of the world.
Bellemeade Books recently posted about Burroughs' relationships with cats and the book he wrote about them - worth checking out if you like either Burroughs or cats (or like me, both).
NB. Sorry about the Burroughs cut-up finger joke. But he did do a bit of a Van Gogh to impress a boy apparently. Burroughs cut off half his pinky instead of his ear, and as with Van Gogh, the recipients of the ear and the finger were less than impressed I believe.