Naked Lunch at 50

Video clip from Serge PARYS – Music from Serge Parys on a reading of William Seward Burroughs.

Burroughs always credited Jack Kerouac for suggesting the title Naked Lunch, and Kerouac wrote to Allen Ginsberg in June 1960 confirming this was true….
In the book there is no lunch, nor dinner, barely even a snack. For Burroughs, food is allied to the cow-like existence that he seeks to escape through the more cerebral virtues of drugs and sex. The apotheosis of his disgust for food in the book appears in a restaurant menu which is composed entirely of the inedible: ‘Filet of Sun-Ripened Sting Ray basted with Eau de Cologne and garnished with nettles/The After-Birth Supreme de Boeuf, cooked in drained crank case oil served with a piquant sauce of rotten egg-yolks and crushed bed-bugs.’ (How Books Got Their Titles)

More clips from Naked Lunch…
Conversation with the creepy typewriter. <> <> Me at Bar <> <>
<> <> Talking asshole <> <> Joan Lee breathes on a bug

Naked Lunch at 50naked-lunch-at-50-anniversary-essaysfront2

The William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch was published fifty years ago this Friday. Naked Lunch was a defining novel of the Beat Generation, 1960s drug culture, and gave rise to one of the last major courtroom battles over literary censorship in the United States. Now with the benefit of half a century’s perspective, it remains not only a landmark example of experimental fiction, but for celebrants and detractors alike, one of the most important American novels of the twentieth century. The “novel” (a word that Naked Lunch effectively challenged and redefined) spawned the David Cronenberg film starring Peter Weller, and Weller is hosting a fiftieth anniversary fundraiser celebration this Friday in Chicago.

Our paranoid friend had a dinner with Susan Sontag. (previous post)