A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture

Burroughs on the Cut-Up: Blasting the Writer out of the Sequential

Will Burdette, University of Texas at Austin

(Published: February 5, 2015)

I started this piece by listening. I love the timbre of Burroughs’s voice. At 0:04, I pull out an audible "uh" that was particularly musical in a chanting kind of way. It paired well with the Buddhist problem-solving approach he discusses, so I looped it under the rest of the track with some effects. That set the tone. I grabbed samples that “spoke to me.” Then I framed the whole thing with metacommentary about audio-recording tools, beginning with a mic check and ending with the importance of the click of the tape recorder.