Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1

    Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

    Hello everybody,

    I'm new here and I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right section, so if not - please feel free to move it.

    I was wondering if there are any followers of the Beat Generation poets? I'm a fan of the work of the whole group, however I always hesitated to read anything from William, because I felt that his stuff, composed under a massive heroin influence, might just be too heavy for me. Anyway, I finally gave it a shot, and you know... I was right, it's too abstract.

    Anyone who read Naked Lunch, would you like to discuss the book with me? I've gone through to around page 100 now, and I'm EXTREMELY confused. There are some great parts of writing, especially describing effects of C and H, but there are some parts that lasts for 3-5 pages and I'm just so confused that I have no idea what I am reading, I'm absolutely clueless.

    Any thoughts here from anyone on this particular piece? Or even better - advice on how to read it? How to approach that kind of writing?

  2. #2
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    In one of the branches of the multiverse, but I don't know which one.
    Posts
    7,030
    Blog Entries
    473
    Naked Lunch was put together from pieces of what Burroughs said while he was passed out on junk. It doesn't make a tremendous amount of sense, but there is a certain atmosphere to it as a whole. I think it is worth reading, but I wouldn't bother rereading it. You might want to read descriptions of his other books before reading them. Junkie is a straightforward book about being a rich kid jonky in the late 1940's. Some of his novels were done in the cut-up method, and they are fascinating but make no sense as wholes. Some of his later works are relatively ordinary.
    Last edited by PeterL; 10-04-2012 at 04:00 PM.

  3. #3
    My best advice on how to read this is do not - absolute garbage. I don't mind the beats, to a degree, (especially when I was younger) but this book is just a sack of crap best avoided. I'm pretty sure I ended up throwing this book in the bin.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3,890
    Quote Originally Posted by Powka View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I'm new here and I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right section, so if not - please feel free to move it.

    I was wondering if there are any followers of the Beat Generation poets? I'm a fan of the work of the whole group, however I always hesitated to read anything from William, because I felt that his stuff, composed under a massive heroin influence, might just be too heavy for me. Anyway, I finally gave it a shot, and you know... I was right, it's too abstract.

    Anyone who read Naked Lunch, would you like to discuss the book with me? I've gone through to around page 100 now, and I'm EXTREMELY confused. There are some great parts of writing, especially describing effects of C and H, but there are some parts that lasts for 3-5 pages and I'm just so confused that I have no idea what I am reading, I'm absolutely clueless.

    Any thoughts here from anyone on this particular piece? Or even better - advice on how to read it? How to approach that kind of writing?
    Don't read it if you are con-fused.

  5. #5
    Litterateur Anton Hermes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    203
    Great book, far and away Burroughs' best.

    I suggest you just skim over parts that confuse you or gross you out and focus on the satire. Look at the warring parties of the Interzone and their tactics for control: the Liquifactionists want to destroy anyone unlike them, the Divisionists want to populate the Earth with copies of themselves, and the Senders are into thought control. The Factualists are the renegades.

    And don't forget, this is an outrageously funny book. Vignettes like Lee's trip to the County Clerk and Mohammed being shut off at the tavern are what make this such a wild ride.
    Nothingness - A dark comedy about delusion, bad weather, and a 21st century witch hunt.

  6. #6
    Registered User Clovis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    71
    This was one of the first modern classics I'd read, way way back in my teens. I remember laughing in the talkin'-arse and dr.sardine-can bits, probably shows my bad taste I suppose. I also remember very vivid kink, drug use and vulgarity throughout. I read 'Queer' soon after, a more comprehensible novel. Simply hadn't read anymore of him since. Might eventually pick up Red Night. I loved the author in the film 'Drugstore Cowboy', good flick.

  7. #7
    Litterateur Anton Hermes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    203
    Quote Originally Posted by Clovis View Post
    I also remember very vivid kink, drug use and vulgarity throughout.
    You forgot depravity. I had to put the book down for a while when I first read it decades ago. It was a fascinating read, but just unbelievably graphic.
    Nothingness - A dark comedy about delusion, bad weather, and a 21st century witch hunt.

Similar Threads

  1. Naked Lunch, Burroughs??
    By irisgaines in forum General Literature
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-13-2009, 06:33 AM
  2. William Wilson
    By Cicero in forum Poe, Edgar Allan
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-21-2009, 08:58 AM
  3. Naked Lunch
    By Jack_Aubrey in forum General Literature
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 01-15-2009, 07:44 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •