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Why has this homosexual ex-junkie, whose claim to fame rests entirely on one book--the hallucinogenic ravings of a heroin addict--so seized the collective imagination? Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch in a Tangier, Morocco, hotel room between 1954 and 1957. Allen Ginsberg and his beatnik cronies burst onto the scene, rescued the manuscript from the food-encrusted floor, and introduced some order to the pages. It was published in Paris in 1959 by the notorious Olympia Press and in the U.S. in 1962; the landmark obscenity trial that ensued served to end literary censorship in America.
Burroughs's literary experiment--the much-touted "cut-up" technique--mirrored the workings of a junkie's brain. But it was junk coupled with vision: Burroughs makes teeming amalgam of allegory, sci-fi, and non-linear narration, all wrapped in a blend of humor--slapstick, Swiftian, slang-infested humor. What is Naked Lunch about? People turn into blobs amidst the sort of evil that R. Crumb, in the decades to come, would inimitably flesh out with his dark and creepy cartoon images. Perhaps the most easily grasped part of Naked Lunch is its America-bashing, replete with slang and vitriol. Read it and see for yourself.
And the book is fantastic too, very diverse writing style.
Maybe it's interesting discussion material about how some people will like just about anything if they think it makes them look "edgy" in the eyes of their peers.
Only at the end of his life did Mr. Burroughs begin to reap the rewards of his, and his comrades' work.
have a weakness for difficult books. Whenever I read a list of the most difficult books in the English language I have a burning desire to conquer all of them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Zach
Elephant in the room, obviously it's his style. It was impenetrable. At least for me. I couldn't read more than 5 pages. I know its good, I just cant make sense of it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Will
Pure crap I went thru three disks hoping it would change but it was the same drivel over and over. Maybe it's ok for educational purposes if you work with junkies or want to be... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Brian U.