From: "Roberts, Tony M" <Tony.M.Roberts@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2006 12:17:07 -0500
I was scheduled to contribute a chapter to that book but my life got so "inaresting" that I could not get the chapter written. I'm still really unhappy about that. My chapter was supposed to be entitled "Burroughs and Narrative Therapy".
Michael White out of Australia has developed a form of therapy based on Foucault's ideas. White and his associates have some influence in Australia and New Zealand but, unfortunately, a lot less in North America even though White does come over and do workshops. What I intended to do was to re-conceptualize White's approach using Burroughs' Language/Virus rather than Foucault's Knowledge/Power.
I first wanted to point out how Foucault and Burroughs cross validate each other. Knowledge/Power would follow from taking Language/Virus seriously and vice versa. Secondly, I wanted to point out how thinking in terms of Language/Virus makes what White does with externalization and seeking for unique outcomes and why this works easier to explain. The idea of a narrative that infects hosts and reproduces itself virus-like makes it possible to explain self-defeating behaviors which maintain the conditions of oppression as symptoms of the Narrative/Virus. These behaviors embody the narrative as a reality horizoning individual subjectivity.
Persons, typically do not see how their own behavior as reproducing that narrative or the possibility of stepping outside that horizon. The first step in helping persons to do both is externalization of the narrative as something "not me" and not given in physical nature. This is exactly Burroughs' concept of calling the Ugly Spirit by name.
From: foucault-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of David Morris
Sent: Wed 4/5/2006 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Foucault-L] Williams S. Bourroughs and Foucault
I'm only just beginning to realize how fortunate I was to have been introduced to Burroughs at a very young age. He's increasingly recognized as a true visionary, and I can see him truly becoming an academic hot topic in the next few years.
There's a collection I can tentatively recommend called "Burroughs and Globalization." I forget the editors. I read a good bit of it and found it interesting, but it's really just a start in coming to terms with exactly how much and how clearly Burroughs saw of the workings of power.
I can strongly recommend "Cities of the Red Night," one of Burroughs' most accessible novels, published in the early eighties. It's probabably at least as prescient as Naked Lunch.