Cut-Ups, William S. Burroughs, and the Rauschmonstrum

Language is a virus from outer space” – William S. Burroughs

Cut-up: A literary technique performed by taking a finished and fully linear text and cutting it in pieces with a few or single words on each piece. The resulting pieces are then rearranged into a new text.

William S. Burroughs is probably the most famous literary figure to utilize cut-ups in his work, and his popularization of them led to certain musicians to use them for their lyrics. (i.e. David Bowie, Kurt Cobain).

Burroughs believed that since language has a colossal impact on how we see the world, and that it also traps us into certain frameworks of thinking. Therefore, he reasoned that if we change the words we use then our realities would change as well. This was a cornerstone of Burroughs’ conception of the magical universe,the belief that our minds have control over the inter-workings of the universe, thus a change of mind equals a change in universe.

This brings us back to our pal the Rauschmonstrum. In my first blog post I described the Rauschmonstrum as a “narrative virus” because of how easy it is to insert him into stories. By inserting the Rauschmonstrum into the Gospel story for “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum” my intention was to alter the readers’ viewpoints of the original text, hopefully so that they could then see the absurdity of the Gospels, and in my own way play a role in the continuing decline of religion in the United States. If it turns out that I am a success in this goal then I will be a happy fellow. I’ll be making some more Rauschmonstrum stories using this method, taking previous works of literature and using them for my own purposes, and I invite all of you to do the same. (Not for commercial purposes of course, that’s my racket.)

-{The Rauschmonstrum’s Press Agent}-

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