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24timespersecond

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 9 months ago

Throughout Burroughs' work, one finds clues within the text as to how one should go about unraveling the text. To read Burroughs and really get what he is getting at, the reader must enter into an alternating system of deconstruction and reconstruction. In "Ticket That Exploded," the narrator (Will?) is describing an awkward sleeping arrangement with a shipmate:

"I turn him on his side or stomach to shut him up. He wakes and smiles in the dark room muttering "Don't get ideas") by the beating of our hearts. In fact his voice has been spliced 24 times per second with the sound of my breathing and the beating of my heart so that my body is convinced that my breathing and heart will stop if his voice stops."

Here, the term "splice" alludes to the cut-up method. Will is showing we subject ourselves to cut-up interdependence through our interactions and relationships. Burroughs is using the perception of a character to point to the method used in the narrative's construction. All throughout his work, the mechanics of his language and voice are used to impart a meta-awareness of the text's construction.

Through human communication, sounds and meanings are constantly being spliced and combined, so that it is near impossible to determine the original meaning of that communication. What is interesting about this passage is that through the sonic rearrangement of the two characters' breathing and heart-beats, the protagonist feels that this interrelation is necessary for his very existence. Likewise, Burroughs' voice is only possible by the fact that it is coming out of, and remixing various traditions and genres. The Word of "The Ticket That Exploded" requires The Word that precedes its creation, as necessity for its existence. Building up to this comment, Bill takes us on a satirical trip through different genres. Only 3 pages in, and it seems that he's already referenced the literature of detective stories, science-fiction, and Burrough's one voice.

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