William S. Burroughs was an innovative writer who experimented with technology and the cut-up method in his postmodernist works. William Gibson follows suit with that cut-up method in his post-modernist groundbreaking science fiction novel Neuromancer, in which he uses a rapid stream of images and the disassociation of people with each other in a technologically advanced, corporate controlled society.
Burroughs wants “cut-ups to establish new connections between images, and one’s range of vision consequently expands” (Knickerbocker 3). Neuromancer accomplishes to establish those new connections in its cut-up environment. Case was a hacker cowboy who was “a byproduct of youth and proficiency, jacked into a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination that was the matrix” (Gibson 5). The technology in the matrix is similar to the cut-up technique that Burroughs experimented with earlier in the century. The protagonist is alienated due to the technology that exists in the matrix, which is a choppy environment and probably has rules which are not as in the human world, when the hackers are back to being meat. The hackers are outlaws, as some cowboys were in the old West, and make their own rules in the matrix. Of course, when Case is caught by the corporation he loses his receptors and is caught in the real world, where he is unable to expand his vision anymore and can only achieve his stream of consciousness through drug use.
Drugs were a subject that Burroughs was asked about in his interview, since it was stated he “believed heroin was needed to turn the human body into an environment that includes the universe.” Nevertheless, despite that he ...
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...on and drugs. Cyberspace is compared to a religious nirvana, in which the consciousness can have revelations similar to religious experiences: “You want I should come to you in the matrix like a burning bush?” (Gibson 169). The Finn is acknowledging the religious dimensions of the matrix and making bible comparisons. Wintermute could be therefore an allusion to God, especially when he merges with Neuromancer, and finds another artificial intelligence in Alpha Centauri, this could be viewed as the Holy Trinity. Cyberspace could be paradise then, which would be further affirmed by the protagonists desire to escape the flesh and his disdain for his fleshly self, the “meat”.
Gibson, William. Neuromancer. New York: Penguin, 1984. Print.
Knickerbocker, Conrad. "Interview with William S. Burroughs." Paris Review, Writers at Work. 3. (1967): n. page. Print.
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