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Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me

Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me

$21.15 USD

Observed While Falling is the account of the creative interaction between author William S. Burroughs  and artist Malcolm McNeill - a collaboration that began when McNeill was still in art school in London in 1970, and continued beyond the point when Burroughs himself was dead.

The primary focus of their endeavors was Ah Pook is Here, a 'Word/Image Novel' concerning the Control of Time and the possibilities of 'traveling' within it. This was the overt fictional medium for a deeper enquiry into the inherent nature of words and images themselves. Ah Pook was a form of Metafiction, a literary device in which the author deliberately places himself within the narrative in order to set up a dialogue of creative exchange between fiction and fact - an attempt as Burroughs described it " make it happen". Over the course of almost four decades Ah Pook is Here did indeed "happen", and many of its fictional elements were realized as fact. Given that the principle character Ah Pook, is the Mayan god of Death and regeneration, these facts often bordered on the uncanny...
In keeping with Ah Pook's essential character, Observed While Falling was unexpectedly brought to life by a dead man: another English artist who had also collaborated with an American writer on the subject of the Maya 160 years before. In effect, an individual, whose creative and personal life trajectory often matched McNeill's precisely,  'traveled' forward in Time to confirm Ah Pook's underlying premise, and revive a project that had been lost to the record for more than 30 years. This unlikely fictional/factual exchange resulted in a unique document: Observed While Falling is the record of an inexplicable correspondence in Time... an unusual insight into the nature of words and images and the energies that compel them... a rare intimate portrait of one of the twentieth century's iconic literary figures... a detailed account of the making of an unusual proto-typical graphic novel before the term existed...

By: Malcolm McNeill

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