Thursday, 22 September 2011

Not William Burroughs

Inspired by Burrough's 'cut up' technique, I once spent a summer collecting snippets of overheard conversation - fragments from the street, the tube, the bus. I arranged them as lines of dialogue in a play, speculating that serendipity or somesuch would reveal the hidden meaning that must somehow be inherent to the fact that these snippets had been heard by this person in pursuit of this project.

Sadly, and inevitably, it was gibberish. Fun to make, for sure, but beyond, there was nothing.

Individual snippets, on the other hand, can sometimes do great work (Dennett uses the phrase 'intuition pump'). This morning's happened as the couple approaching me on the pavement were briefly intercepted by the hapless and enthusiastic youth from WWF seeking to recruit them to the cause of 'Save the Tiger'. Having rebuffed his entreaty, and as the couple passed me, the one said to the other:

"I'll do well to save myself never mind the bloody tiger..."

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