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Beat Poetry

Author: joe

Wednesday, 13 July, 2005 - 15:09

William Gibson recently wrote for Wired about the mash-up and cut-up techniques becoming so prominent in digital cultures, and the cut-and-paste ease of creating new work.

Gibson mentions the cut-up technique used by Williams Burroughs, and that he appropriated clips from American science fiction. Burroughs also, however, used the cut-up technique on his own pages of writing: he would write his work on sheets of paper which he would cut into pieces and then re-assemble. Apparently he even used to allow sheets to fall out while his work was in progress, and place them back randomly and leave them where they sat for publication. Burroughs demonstrated the technique in his essay on the subject.

This reminded me of a script I wrote a few years ago which will do the cut-up technique to any text you put into it - just to emphasise the fact that cut-and-paste production is getting ever easier... So I've put it together here: Beat Poetry Creator.

For more textual cut-up fun, try out the great The Cut-up Page, and there's loads more stuff at Wikipedia

Categories: beat poetry, cut-up technique, mash-up,
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