Burroughs’ Lasting Legacy: Digital Cut-Up and Transmedia Storytelling

FSU Digital Scholars

In preparation for our meeting on Tuesday and Dr. Gontarski’s presentation on the Burroughs Archive, I feel as though I’ve had a miniscule exposure to the “Cut-Up Trilogy” in the form of Oliver Harris’ “Introduction to the ‘Cut-Up Trilogy’” trilogy. Looking across the three introductions, we see some commonalities in terms of chronicling the changes across editions and Harris’ repeated assertion that to call these three books a “trilogy” is a misnomer. I wonder if Harris envisioned himself amassing his own sort of word hoard when drafting each of these introductions, repurposing sections from one to fit into the introduction for another volume. What I find most interesting is Harris’ assertion that the trilogy isn’t a trilogy, considering the many revisions each work underwent—ultimately giving us a total of 6 volumes, with no clear beginning, middle, or end of the “series.” Whether it was Burroughs’ intention or not, the…

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