The Cut-up Literature of William S. Burroughs; Barbarians and the Future

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The Cut-up Literature of William S. Burroughs; Barbarians and the Future

Type: Master thesis
Title: The Cut-up Literature of William S. Burroughs; Barbarians and the Future
Author: Damen, Joost
Issue Date: 2017-06-30
Keywords: cut-up
beat
resistance
barbarism
burroughs
avant-garde
Abstract: The focus of this thesis is on a mysterious group of beings encountered in William S. Burroughs’ (1914-1997) literary works: the Wild Boys. These Wild Boys are a personification of many of the central themes of Burroughs’ works, such as homosexuality, masculinity and violence, but also revolution, anarchism and utopianism. As embodiments of all the above themes, the Wild Boys offer much that is of interest in the present day political sphere because they exist as (and express) a reaction to some of the dominant ideological and social conflicts of Burroughs’ time. The structure of these conflicts may have changed but they have certainly not disappeared: family structures, masculinity and femininity, the capitalist economic paradigm, pacifism contra revolutionary desires and, last but by no means least, the relation of the West to ‘the rest,’ and in relation to this, American imperialism and its 20th century crises. Through the Wild Boys, Burroughs outlines an alternative form of social organisation which has its own internal contradictions and pitfalls, but which is ultimately concerned with possibilities of radical emancipation.
Supervisor: Boletsi, Maria
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Media Studies (Master)
Specialisation: Comparative Literature & Literary Theory
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/49680
 

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