PRINT Summer 1979


The Third Mind

William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, The Third Mind (New York: The Viking Press, 1978), 194 pages.

Experimental work, in pen or brush, explodes the meanings of words and/or images, subjecting them to the impact of violent clashes, to violent perturbations of structure. Caught between an otherness of the self and a fetishism of the machine, poets and painters algebrize metaphors and permutations: a rose is a rose is a rose, but this is not a pipe. The Dadaists, more than any other vanguard group, reduced art to a game in which the dice were loaded with irony. Games, of course, follow rules, and breaking the rules of a language game is a game for poets. In our century no one has yet played it with greater skill than did Raymond Roussel, the author of Impressions d’Afrique.

Brion Gysin, who coauthored, with William Burroughs, The Third Mind, was the agent who initiated the conjuror of Naked

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