Friday, February 20, 2015

William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers (1991)

Klaus Maeck's William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers (1991) renders a good introduction to Burroughs, in which one may either like what he has to say or hate it -- there's little in between. The film weaves together a solid, interesting interview conducted by Jürgen Ploog, author of Cola-Hinterland (1969) and Sternzeit 23 (1975), with samples of public readings and archival film footage. Everything works together like a nifty cut-up energized by palimpsestic language.  
Table of contents:
The Do Rights
A Writer
Western Lands
The Writer
The Cut Ups
Roosevelt After Inauguration
Young Writers
Young People
The Word
Thanksgiving Prayer
Dr. Benway
The Future

This may be of interest to any writer or artist, to creative people with open minds (assuming ears not offended by colorful choice of diction). Burroughs touches on differences between The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Egyptian Book of the Dead, class warfare even after death (only the rich and powerful get mummies, but mummies are fragile), and -- in the post-credit coda, space travel -- don't miss the jellyfish astronauts! 
Today's Rune: Growth. 


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Somehow I have ended up with a William S Burroughs half-sung/half spoken word compilation in my music collection. He is difficult to listen to at times, but certainly never ordinary.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jellyfish astronauts? egads.

jodi said...

Erik-Stacey and Ed turned me on to Burroughs. He scared the hell out of me. Too strange and heavy of a read!