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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reading Eric Packer As Dangerous: A Dangerous Seer;Visionary;Prophet

Elise Shifrin and Eric Packer in the Taxi

Elise: You know things. I think this is what you do. I think you're dedicated to knowing. I think you acquire information and turn it into something stupendous and awful. You're a dangerous person. Do you agree? A visionary. (C 19)

Jesus was a visionary. Jesus was and still is dangerous.

Foucault: Knowledge is not for knowing. Knowledge is for cutting.

From Burroughs Live, 1960-19997 p. 104
New York Interview 1968
Burroughs: ... Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American a great book. I hadn't read it before, but when I got to the point of the milk bar...   

Jeff Shero: The what bar?

Burroughs: The milk bar. You know the explosion in the milk bar. He's looking around in this milk bar, and I said wait a minute, time to hit the floor. I knew when the explosion was going to take place. I hadn't read it yet. And that was about two years before the same explosion happened in the milk bar in Algiers. I had been in Algiers eating in this milk bar. Two months after I had left there, about two years after Graham Greene had written this scene with people, their legs all splattered with Maraschino cherries and ice cream and blood and brains, passion fruit, pieces of mirrors __ in this very milk bar where I would eat __ a friend of mine got to the milk bar just at this time and saw this scene. Wow! Graham Greene had written that.

Writers don't want to take responsibility for these things; they have to. A long time ago I said, "The Soccer scores come in from the capital." You remember the Soccer riot in Peru __300 people. That's what it referred to.

Jeff Shero: Why do you think Genet is the only one who has taken responsibility for his characters? What about Kesey? You know Kesey's book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ?

Burroughs: Sure. It was simply that Genet was one of the first ones to state this.

Jeff Shero: So more than that, it was Genet who recognized it?

Burroughs: Genet recognized it, yes, probably before I did. But if the soccer scores are coming into the capital one must pretend an interest. That was 10 years before this soccer riot happened. I realized what writers write happens. Therefore writers have responsibility to be there and to do something about it. In Chicago Genet said to me, "writers now must support the youth movement, not only with their words, but with their presence." I agree with that one hundred percent.

DeLillo has been noted for having predicted a number of catastrophic events. Cosmopolis  has been written about as predicting the dot.com meltdown in Bush II's reign. I don't think so. I think it predicted the 2008 derivative meltdown which was a much more catastrophic event. Now was Eric Packer the model for it? We will never know, will we?

Eric: "How will we know when the global era officially ends?”
Vija: “When stretch limousines begin to disappear from the streets of Manhattan.”

Eric: He knew they would figure it out eventually how he'd made it happen, one man, bereaved and tired now. (C 140)

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