leak in the film

The best of Burroughs’ novels, besides the grisly, the viscious (but unfortunately accurate) satire or caricatures of “decent people”, is what I (and I suppose he coined) the leak in the film: 

We all know the cut-up technique by now, probably overknow it, while this extraordinary vision of the leaks into reality (reality being likened to a prerecorded film)  , so, I can’t think of words other than prophetically or magickally composed,  rhapsodic, seem to be ignored.  He had an intuitive grasp of magickal technique – rather than relying on past sterile dogmatisms.  In this area, he really was a thelemite,  more than many who hail themselves so – he was using the method of science and the aim of religion (he would shun the word “religion” but it probably is worn out).  Sections of his novels are magickal texts, and not the parts describing “magickal” texts or techniques, it’s underneath in the poetry, the way other realities and control systems are underneath.

The world in his novels is often a world that is conventional in the usual sense of a novel (say a western), there is some entrancing prose of the mind of the protagonist and the natural world,  interspersed with ickiness, when suddenly we see that it is all a stage setting,  props in a movie.   A film we can alter, or at least have the chance at altering, perceiving, if we are lucky, observant, look out of the corner of the eye, apply the technique…..edit the film – we could begin by saying to ourselves  “i don’t like the film”


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