Since its original publication in Paris in 1959, Naked Lunch has become one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. Exerting its influence on the relationship of art and obscenity, it is one of the books that redefined not just literature but American culture. For the Burroughs enthusiast and the neophyte, this volumethat contains final-draft typescripts, numerous unpublished contemporaneous writings by Burroughs, his own later introductions to the book, and his essay on psychoactive drugsis a valuable and fresh experience of a novel that has lost none of its relevance or satirical bite.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis in 1914 and lived in Chicago, New York, Texas, Paris, Tangier, London, and Lawrence, Kansas, where he died in August 1997. He was the author of numerous books, including Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine, Nova Express, The Ticket that Exploded, and The Wild Boys, and was inducted as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. James Grauerholz was William Burroughs’s longtime manager and editor, and is now his literary executor.
Table of Contents
|And Start West||3|
|The Black Meat||43|
|Lazarus Go Home||58|
|Hassan's Rumpus Room||62|
|Campus of Interzone University||70|
|A.J.'s Annual Party||74|
|Meeting of International Conference of Technological Psychiatry||87|
|Ordinary Men and Women||101|
|Islam Incorporated and the Parties of Interzone||121|
|The County Clerk||141|
|Have You Seen Pantopon Rose?||165|
|The Exterminator Does a Good Job||169|
|The Algebra of Need||172|
|Hauser and O'Brien||174|
|Original Introductions and Additions by the Author||197|
|Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness ||199|
|Post Script ... Wouldn't You? ||207|
|Afterthoughts on a Deposition ||211|
|Letter from a Master Addict to Dangerous Drugs ||213|
|Burroughs Texts Annexed by the Editors||231|
|Letter to Irving Rosenthal ||249|
|The Death of Mel the Waiter [undated]||252|
|Outtakes: The Vigilante||254|
|Outtakes: The Rube||257|
|Outtakes: The Black Meat||266|
|Outtakes: A.J.'s Annual Party||270|
|Outtakes: Islam Incorporated and the Parties of Interzone||272|
|Outtakes: The Examination||272|
|Outtakes: Coke Bugs||279|
|Outtakes: Hauser and O'Brien||281|
|Outtakes: Atrophied Preface||282|
What People are Saying About This
"Only after the first shock does one realize that what Burroughs is writing about is not only the destruction of depraved men by their drug lust, but the destruction of all men by their consuming addictions... He is a writer of great power and artistic integrity engaged in a profoundly meaningful search for true values."
"An absolutely devastating ridicule of all that is false, primitive, and vicious in current American life: the abuses of power, hero worship, aimless violence, materialistic obsession, intolerance, and every form of hypocrisy."
"A book of great beauty.... Burroughs is the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genious."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A mad trip into the tattered drift of subconscious undercurrents. Written in a “cut up” style this is one of the most non-linear books I’ve ever read. The author sets forth a series of disjointed vignettes he aptly calls “routines,” which I also found fitting. This book is designed so that you can jump in at any point and not be lost, which is to say you will be just as lost as you would be anywhere else. Narrative? Naw…. The routines in the book involve sadism and the bent thoughts of a junky’s subconscious flow of thought. Reality and perception of mind all seem to bend into each other. The way this book was written, make it difficult for me to recall much except for a pervasive mood and fragments of sarcastic witticism that sometimes played out in strange scenes of ultra violence (e.g. a plunger used in a surgical procedure-a toilet plunger…). The strength in Burroughs’ writing is his biting satire and irony. He takes a salacious slant on the culture, right from the bowels of the counter culture. Some of the material in here made me laugh outright, and other times I cringed. This is definitely not just a book you casually read. You have to gear up for it. The content is not for those easily offended (this was the last piece of written word subjected to federal obscenity laws in the United States—it prevailed). Burroughs was a known heroin addict and wrote this work after causing the death of his wife, and living life somewhat on the lam as he sought the sour comfort of illicit dealings in foreign lands. When he finally came to some kind of reckoning with what he had done, he managed to clean himself up (though I believe he continued to struggle with drugs), he wrote this book. Some of the book is about drugs (junk), some of it is caught up in science fiction elements (telepathic thought control), and some is almost like a political cartoon strip. Later in life, Burroughs got more political and made a name for himself giving spoken word performances. There are hints of this buried in the smoky riffs. Little laughable nuggets of wit. Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: "No Deodorant In Outer Space". The podcast is available on iTunes, YouTube or our website.
How can I be the first to leave a review for one of the most important books in the world? Burroughs created something truly remarkable with this book. Want something different whilst still being highly entertained through a dirty, drug filled, cut up head? Then read this!
Depictions, Howls, and Promotions Naked Lunch is a Beat Generation novel of drug infused depictions of the torment and rapture of homosexuality in a homophobic society, howls against conformity and control, and promotions of freedom, a “separate life”, and similar illusions. For the illicit drug scene and slams against modernity, I prefer Hunter S. Thompson, as well as Adam Thirwell’s, Lurid and Cute.