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The Third Mind

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Burroughs and Gysin explore, document, and illustrate their "cut-up" method in a series of dazzling and often dizzying collaborations.
Paperback, 0 pages
Published April 28th 1982 by Seaver Books (first published 1978)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  280 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Oct 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tristan Tzara really invented the cut-up or perhaps the general media did, but nevertheless William S. Burroughs and his partner in crime, Brion Gysin, really took it to another level. "What are you really telling me?" That I think is the question that Burroughs and Gysin tries to answer. It is also a book about language and its power and sort of beauty as well. The duality of communication can be used as poetry as well as a deadly weapon.
Well, I wanted to read something a little kooky and I certainly got what I wanted. I've known about this book for years and I could never find it, or remember to look for it, in a used book store.

I agree with WSB and BG on all points about the value of cut-up as a literary technique. Though, I think they breathed the fumes in a little too deeply. Often the examples in The Third Mind of cut-up in practice are rather dull and sound like the scatological murmurings of an addled schizophrenic
Mar 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who haven't been there yet
Shelves: literature
Almost as good as "The Job" for putting forth THE IDEAS. Burroughs had the highest respect for Gysin & this bk shows how intensely & fervently they clicked. An impetus for collaboration for those who haven't been there yet.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book after meeting Burroughs and Gysin in New York. The cut-up method, invented by Gysin, a painter, and most famously utilized by Burroughs in his many books is discussed in detail here. A proliferation of facsimile pages, photographs, and examples of cut-up writing, including a fragment of a scenario from the movie they wanted to make of Naked Lunch , make this a most interesting read.
Tim Edison
Muffled drum week and my silence
the pianos
And the Sunday rest pour away
My working, my midnight, my mourners
Talk my song bring out wanted now
Put up the coffin let up the wood
my noon
My overhead would last forever
scribbling on
Pack up I was wrong round
the white necks
The sky, the message, let aeroplanes
dismantle the sun
He is dead the ocean and sweep
I thought
That love of the public doves
Put crepe bows circle moaning
The moon and the stars are not out
every one
This is a surprisingly good read. If you want a really good anthology of the cut-up method of writing this is the place to go.

The title refers to a statement in Napoleon Hill's book "How to Think and Grow Rich" in which the author claims that if two people are working in harmony on a project that a third mind will spontaneously be generated in which the participants are able to draw from the knowledge and inspiration of each other through the third mind.

In this case the two participants are
Dave Tilley
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really want to give this a 3.5 stars. Great book. But to be honest, the cut-up is to be enjoyed in smaller doses. Any 1 or 2 pieces are great individually but after 5 I begin to wander. Great and ground breaking at the time. Small doses.
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cut-up is just a technique, useful for shifting the mind's habits and jump-starting the creative process. But the interviews and articles relating it to a variety of authors and artistic movements, and Burrough's and Gysin's own experiments, make this a very stimulating read.
David Corvine
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting for students of Burroughs. Particularly of the Nova Trilogy. In patches the cut up material is tedious and incomprehensible... or perhaps the feeling of unease that reading it creates is the result of freeing yourself from the Control virus and its Word/Language vector.
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A good day to pick this one up again, quite and grey out, one of my favorite WSB books and it was a pleasure to read again.
Eric Knowlson
Not Burrough's best. The cut up technique described is interesting but makes this more of a non-fiction manual than a work of great literature.
Erik Zhivkoplias
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beat
Oh, I'm a baboon
I'm a blue baboon
I'm a true baboon
I'm a helluva
Hullabaloo baboon!

And I love a baboon
Who bays at the moon
In the mad month of June
The looniest month
Of them all!

He asked me to spoon
By a moonlit lagoon
and there, very soon,
I fall into a swoon
And from midnight to noon
I fall, I fall, I fall!

'Cause I'm a baboon
A baby baboon
The weakest baboon
Of them all, all, all!

I fall into a swoon
In the arms of this goon
And there, on a dune,
I turn and I give him
My all, my all, my all!

'Cause I'm a baboon
Thea Gency
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Functioning as a workbook and manual, this is a collection of thoughts -- ideas -- interviews -- sketches -- droppings by WSB-Gysin, exploring and outlining their discovery, as titled. A dark cloud hangs over it, purple skies. Computer experimentation useful. Illustrated.
Nov 12, 2010 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really diggin' this book!
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William Seward Burroughs II, (also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th ...more
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