Date of Graduation
As early as 1952, seven years before the publication of his most critically acclaimed work, Naked Lunch, William Burroughs began to express a dissatisfaction with traditional, essentially narrative, novelistic structures. Following the lead of many of his modernist predecessors, including Joyce, Eliot, Stein, and Dos Passos, Burroughs began to appropriate visually artistic compositional strategies for the construction of his increasingly experimental literary texts. The aim of this dissertation is to highlight Burroughs' various intersections with film, the non-literary art form that seems to have had the most profound and pervasive impact on his writing and general world-view. Specifically, I attempt to demonstrate that Burroughs' successive literary appropriations of cinematic forms and techniquesâ€”including verbal montage via cut-up and fold-in juxtaposition, camera eye narration, cinematic directions, looping effects, and film script scenariosâ€”parallels his progression towards an experimental, postmodern aesthetic. The result culminates in a unique, mid-twentieth century vision of â€œrealityâ€ as a pre-recorded, pre-scripted film coupled with a â€œhands onâ€ approach to words and a mixed-media form of writing that can be described as â€œcinematic prose.â€.
Martino, John Raymond, "â€œRemember i was the moviesâ€: The cinematic prose of William S. Burroughs." (2000). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9363.