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Creative InvolutionBergson, Beckett, Deleuze$
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S. E. Gontarski

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748697328

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697328.001.0001

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Becoming Degree Zero: Authors Vanishing into the Zone of Imperceptibility

Becoming Degree Zero: Authors Vanishing into the Zone of Imperceptibility

(p.173) 9 Becoming Degree Zero: Authors Vanishing into the Zone of Imperceptibility
Creative Involution

S. E. Gontarski

Edinburgh University Press

This concluding chapter looks at American writer William Burroughs. In many respects, William Burroughs was an apostle of invisibility, assiduously pursuing versions of physical vanishing and advocating, above all, authorial disappearance. He has on occasion declared himself simply an ethereal medium through which his texts pass into the visible world. Samuel Beckett's initial rejection on first meeting Burroughs in 1959 was not solely or particularly to the aleatory nature of the process but to the fact that the cut up method of Burroughs involved using the writing of other authors. Burroughs's reply to such charges generally suggested what one might call today intertextuality — that all writing was cut up or collage in one way or another and that his was different from those only by degree.

Keywords:   William Burroughs, invisibility, authorial disappearance, Samuel Beckett, intertextuality

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