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The "Limits of Control": Burroughs through Deleuze

The "Limits of Control": Burroughs through Deleuze THE “LIMITS OF CONTROL”: BURROUGHS THROUGH DELEUZE S. E. GONTARSKI There have been, of course, various remnants of disciplinary societies for years, but we already know we are in societies of a different type that should be called, using Burroughs’ term—and Foucault had a very deep admiration for Burroughs—control societies. —Deleuze (2007, 326) American outlier writer, Beat associate and sometime expatriate, William S. Burroughs, published a second article in the mainstream monthly, Harpers, in November of 1973 entitled “Playback from Eden to Watergate” (#1482; 84-6, 88). Its title suggested not only grand historic sweep with a focus on contemporary issues but a change in creative (and, as it turns out, destructive, or at least combative) strategies, a shift in communication technologies from print to magnetic tape, a medium that Burroughs had been experimenting with and manipulating since the 1960s, often as part of a mélange of media: recording tape, celluloid, photo-collage and print. Burroughs had thought for a time that he might become a mainstream writer, as he wrote to Jack Kerouac on December 7, 1954: “I sat down seriously to write a best-seller Book of the Month Club job on Tangier,” which he hoped would get “serialized in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke uni_neb

The "Limits of Control": Burroughs through Deleuze

symploke , Volume 28 (1) – Nov 24, 2020

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © symploke
ISSN
1534-0627

Abstract

THE “LIMITS OF CONTROL”: BURROUGHS THROUGH DELEUZE S. E. GONTARSKI There have been, of course, various remnants of disciplinary societies for years, but we already know we are in societies of a different type that should be called, using Burroughs’ term—and Foucault had a very deep admiration for Burroughs—control societies. —Deleuze (2007, 326) American outlier writer, Beat associate and sometime expatriate, William S. Burroughs, published a second article in the mainstream monthly, Harpers, in November of 1973 entitled “Playback from Eden to Watergate” (#1482; 84-6, 88). Its title suggested not only grand historic sweep with a focus on contemporary issues but a change in creative (and, as it turns out, destructive, or at least combative) strategies, a shift in communication technologies from print to magnetic tape, a medium that Burroughs had been experimenting with and manipulating since the 1960s, often as part of a mélange of media: recording tape, celluloid, photo-collage and print. Burroughs had thought for a time that he might become a mainstream writer, as he wrote to Jack Kerouac on December 7, 1954: “I sat down seriously to write a best-seller Book of the Month Club job on Tangier,” which he hoped would get “serialized in

Journal

symplokeuni_neb

Published: Nov 24, 2020

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