0014 | Naked Lunch – William Burroughs



REVIEW:
This is pure Kerouac meets Easton Ellis… on drugs. The pace of this small book is exhausting and that, combined with the disjointed hallucinatory style of the narrative (if you can find one) typifies the mind of the drug user.

Within this medium, Burroughs lets off a slideshow of images: sexuality, government, media, commerce, race, etc. All of these seen through the eyes of some strange protagonists.

All in all it’s difficult to find this an engaging work because of the incoherent style. Like most postmodern art, it’s difficult to know if, given more time, it would reveal deeper things. There’s always the risk that it’s just a pile of ****.

But when you consider that this was written in 1959, before the explosion of drug culture in the mainstream, it is amazing for its time. I wouldn’t reread it, I’m not glad I read it particularly(some of it is extremely disturbing sexually and violently) but for an image of pure atheistic self-enthroning hell, it is a worthwhile read.

OPENING LINE:
I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square Sation, vault a turnstile and two flights down the iron stairs, catch an uptown A train… Young, good looking, crew cut, Ivy League, advertising exec type fruit holds he door back for me.

QUOTES:

Junk is a one-way street.

WORDS:
prurient: characterized by lust
paresis: Slight or incomplete paralysis.
peristalsis: Wave-like muscle contractions that spread or push food and liquid naturally through the digestive tract.
hypostatis: midway between a personality and an abstract being
etiology: the cause or origin of disease.
tumescent: bloated: abnormally distended especially by fluids or gas
botulism: Poisoning by a bacillus which may infect preserved food especially canned meat and vegetables.
escrow: The holding of funds, documents, securities, or other property by an impartial third party for the other two participants in a business transaction. When the transaction is completed, the escrow agent releases the entrusted property.

CLOSING LINE:
“No glot… C’lom Friday”

RATING:
terrible > poor > mediocre> okay >good > very good > excellent > superb

FINISHED:
2007 – March

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