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Finally, Beckett leaned forward and said, "What can you tell me,
Mr. Burroughs, about this cut-up method of yours?"
"Well, Mr. Beckett," Burroughs said, "what I do is take a page of my
writing and a page of the Herald Tribune [or Rimbaud, etc.], I cut
them up and then I put them back together, and I gradually decipher
new texts. Then I might take a page of your writing, and line it up
with what I already have, and do the same thing all over again."
Suddenly indignant, Beckett asked, "You're using other writer's words?"
"Words don't have brands on them the way cattle do," Burroughs
said. "Ever hear of a word rustler?"
"You can't do that!" Beckett said. "You can't take my writing and mix
it up with the newspapers."
"Well, I've done it," Burroughs said.
"That's not writing,"
snorted, "it's plumbing."