A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture

Burroughs Crossroads

Steven Alvarez, University of Kentucky

(Published: February 5, 2015)

"Burroughs Crossroads" is a sonic weaving of Burroughs’s lectures, "cut up" as audio clips and layered over one another. As I edited the piece, I listened to the track "Crossroads"—which features Burroughs—on Tom Waits' The Black Rider, and as I spliced I could hear the rhythm and cadence of his and different recordings morph into heteroglossia. The rhythm of this cut-up alternates at an increasing pace before all the voices layer over one another until abruptly ending. This was an experiment to hear conflicting sounds about originality, science fiction, and narrative theory.