TH5. Littoral Osteo-Chilopoda Cross the Wounded Galaxies


William S. Burroughs (1914–1997), corresponding with Ballard, commended as ‘most interesting’ the British author’s ‘concept of a lost sacral brain’.1 Burroughs, who was also fascinated with the loops between ‘inner space’ and ‘outer space’, himself saw the vertebral column as a writhing inner bone-centipede. Nerves, along with all other control systems, were his sworn enemy. He imagined a surgical procedure to abbreviate a patient’s body to nothing but an unappendiculated ‘spinal column’, thereby creating a chilopodic monstrosity. Yet the major control system was not the nerves per se, but what they enabled: language…