“The best writing seems to be done almost by accident.” I love this line. Not only because it is a little cliché and corny, but it rings true. William S. Burroughs comes up with some interesting points in this article. He begins by writing about an instance when “the cut-up method” was first practiced. After, Burroughs introduces us to Brion Gysin, the creator of the method. He describes how Gysin cut up newspaper articles and re-arranged them, creating a fresh and different narrative. This piece turned into an actual article that, weirdly enough, made sense.

This method reminds me of those magnets that have words on them and you shift them around to create a coherent message. That’s not too difficult, but sentences, that would be difficult. I don’t believe this article’s message is to only go out, attempt this method, and publish your product. That would be a bit insane. The article is basically saying venture outside of the box and try something different. Don’t be afraid to try something bizarre and sometimes it can turn out to be art. It’s an abstract way of thinking, but I am a fan of this theme.

“You can not will spontaneity.” I can relate to this article because I have experienced moments like Gysin’s before. I have made videos, specifically for DST 2880, that have had moments that I did not even intend on creating. Just now, I was editing a video, and I found a clip where I left the camera rolling and I’m walking back to the camera to turn it off. It’s going to now be the ending scene to my short movie. This was not set up and it was a total accident. That is the beauty of it. Those are sometimes the best clips. I’m not acting in the clip; I was just walking back to the camera like a normal person. These moments can lead to your story developing another element to itself, as said in the article. This new dimension can make your story have a more artistic feel. Another example of this happening to me was in a playwriting class I am taking. As I am writing a play, a lot of things just flow and float along. There are many times where I do not even notice, that I only realize when I read It back, how I am creating a different creative component to my writing. It’s exhilarating when you realize this and it makes the play seem more “magical” and textured.

I am a big fan being creative and expanding creativity. “Poetry is for everyone”… Everyone has the opportunity to be creative and individualistic. I am glad we are reading this in a digital storytelling class, because an artist should always be thinking about how to be innovative or different. It’s great to consider, “what can I do to make this unique and stylistic to myself.”

I enjoyed this article and I had never heard of the “cut-up method” before. I applaud Burroughs for jamming this theory of creativity and art down our throats with s short, to the point, article (especially at the end). I’m looking forward to taking this mentality and trying to reflect it on my work. Sometimes normal is not the best thing. Trying new methods can transform a piece. Going forward in this class, I hope to apply a different element and dimension as I develop my story.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Matthew McCombs’s story.