ZITA, Antonín. The Death of Joan Vollmer and Decoding William S. Burroughs’ Work. 2019.
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Basic information
Original name The Death of Joan Vollmer and Decoding William S. Burroughs’ Work
Name in Czech Smrt Joan Vollmer a dekódování publikací Williama S. Burroughse
Authors ZITA, Antonín (203 Czech Republic, guarantor, belonging to the institution).
Edition 2019.
Other information
Original language English
Type of outcome Presentations at conferences
Field of Study 60206 Specific literatures
Country of publisher Czech Republic
Confidentiality degree is not subject to a state or trade secret
RIV identification code RIV/00216224:14640/19:00113147
Organization unit Language Centre
Keywords (in Czech) William S. Burroughs; Joan Vollmer; jednání; trauma; literární teorie
Keywords in English William S. Burroughs; Joan Vollmer; agency; trauma; literary theory
Tags agency, Beat Generation, Joan Vollmer, Literary Theory, trauma, William S Burroughs
Tags International impact
Changed by Changed by: PaedDr. Marta Holasová, Ph.D., učo 38218. Changed: 1. 5. 2020 13:38.
When the writer William S. Burroughs suggested to his common-law wife Joan Vollmer that they do their William Tell act for their guests, little did he know that it would result in him accidentally killing Vollmer. While research undertaken in the last two decades shows that they performed this act on a regular basis, Burroughs vehemently denied ever performing the William Tell act with Vollmer for most of his life and even changed the story several times. Soon after Vollmer’s death, he started working on what eventually became Naked Lunch, a novel composed of semi-episodic stories directly resisting interpretation. This experimental aspect of his writing—resisting the process of signification—was further amplified by his cut-up method in subsequent novels. Together with his interest in linguistics, the occult, Mayan calendar, or Scientology, his writing is charged with a singular purpose—to break free from the control mechanisms affecting us, Burroughs believed, throughout our lives. Finding a method of regaining control is then one of the dominant themes of his writing, yet, as some of his later diary entries suggest, all of this had one unconscious motivation—finding a rational explanation for him fatally shooting Joan Vollmer.
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