Questions about The Ticket that Exploded

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edward_de_vere
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:16 pm

Questions about The Ticket that Exploded

Post by edward_de_vere » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:40 am

Years ago a started reading The Ticket that Exploded, but found it less compelling than the other two cut-up novels and gave up on it. I recently decided to give it another try and am through most of it. I have a couple of questions about the book and readers' takes on it.

First, the preface/acknowledgment credits the afterword ('closing message') to Brion Gysin. The "Goodbye" calligraphy before the final chapter is clearly Gysin's, but did Gysin actually write (or at least cut up) the last chapter "the invisible generation", if that's what's meant by the "closing message"? The final chapter has many of the same phrases and motifs as the rest of the book, so I'm assuming that by "afterword" WSB means the calligraphy and that the true afterword chapter is Burroughs'.

Second, there's a recurrent phrase (and title for one chapter) about "Calling the Old Doctor Twice" (...the second time he quiets you"). Any thoughts on the significance of this phrase, and of who or what is referenced as the "Old Doctor?" Is the Old Doctor a Benway-type operative brought in to perform nefarious tasks on call (and who will then do the same to you if called again) if we take what's written literally, or is this a reference to using a Doctor to get fake prescriptions for morphine etc (where on the second call you're reported or arrested), or something more metaphorical (i.e. a reference on people calling on their leaders or their gods to silence or kill their enemies, only to be silenced or killed themselves)?

DrBenway1210
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:32 pm
Name a Burroughs book: The Ticket That Exploded

Re: Questions about The Ticket that Exploded

Post by DrBenway1210 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:15 pm

I've always thought that referred to the gods punishing men who begged for violence against their enemies.

It's a very mysterious book. I read it right after reading Junky and the experience changed drastically from one to another. It was fascinating how William merged time and combined two or three experiences about one situation with different meanings through Cut up, like ending a chapter with a rewriting of the beginning. The typewritter chapter is amazing

edward_de_vere
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Re: Questions about The Ticket that Exploded

Post by edward_de_vere » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:24 am

That interpretation makes some sense, since Burroughs sometimes referred to the deity in a One God Universe as "an evil doctor" in several later works (Ghost of a Chance, I think, among others)

DrBenway1210
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:32 pm
Name a Burroughs book: The Ticket That Exploded

Re: Questions about The Ticket that Exploded

Post by DrBenway1210 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:01 pm

I havent read it yet. I can't get copies of Ghost of a Chance and The Exterminator here in Brazil at all.

BansheeYage
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Name a Burroughs book: Junky

Re: Questions about The Ticket that Exploded

Post by BansheeYage » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:08 am

I agree with your interpretation Dr. Benway. In my opinion the message that Burroughs is conveying is the arrogance and pride of humans to think that they can control something greater than themselves. He echoes a similar idea in Ah Pook is Here and in the Wild Boys when he says “Here lived a stupid vulgar son of a bitch who thought he could hire DEATH as a company cop.”.
"I have a thousand faces and a thousand names. I am nobody I am everybody. I am me I am you. I am here there forward back in out. I stay everywhere I stay nowhere. I stay present I stay absent."

edward_de_vere
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Re: Questions about The Ticket that Exploded

Post by edward_de_vere » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:39 am

I think that there may also be a political message here, where people embrace totalitarian or authoritarian governments with the hope that the state will target their enemies, only to themselves be persecuted and killed by the very rulers to whom they gave their support. People support Communist revolutions with the hope that the thugs in power will kill or imprison the ruling class and redistribute the wealth, but it's often the supporters of the revolution themselves who later wind up shot or in a work camp.

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