Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Joan Hawkins | William S. Burroughs: Cutting Up the Century

Aside from Henry Miller, William S. Burroughs is the most important figure in the 20th century canon of American authors who's consistently ignored by those anthology editors, literary historians, and critics usually commissioned to compile the lists.

Burroughs's subversive cut ups are probably one reason for the neglect, now remedied by Joan Hawkins's collection, William S. Buroughs: Cutting Up the Century. His method of splicing together snippets of texts from hither and yon at once anticipated hip hop sampling and mash ups and unsettling the notions of authorship that Burroughs inherited. And this would have been enough to marginalize him, never mind the gun worship, the fatal William Tell act, the drug abuse, the odd ball beliefs about UFOs and the occult.

Come hear Joan Hawkins relate how she and her co-editor, Alex Werner-Colan, compilied Cutting Up the Century, which includes studies of the cut up method and its results, accounts of Burroughs by people who had known him, and artists inspired by him.

Jul 30, 5pm to 6pm, University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley