Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Encyclopedia of Literature: Mr Polly to New France

Naked Lunch, The

Naked Lunch, Contemporary Literary Censorship: The Case History of Burroughs' ‘Naked Lunch’

burroughs novel drugs

a novel by William Burroughs, published in 1959; subsequently republished in 1962 as Naked Lunch. Burroughs explained in an interview that much of his novel, in form both hallucinatory and disorganized, was written under the influence of specific drugs, particularly cannabis. The novel has no plot and makes few concessions to social or psychological realism, though many of its evocations of a world dominated by drugs, perverted forms of sexuality, and death are powerfully realized and deeply disturbing. ‘The Sickness’ to which Burroughs refers in his introduction is, locally, that of drug addiction, but, as critics have suggested, this sickness is also one of the soul and of society in general, so much so that Burroughs's response to what we might call the ‘real world’ is frequently apocalyptic and atavistic. Naked Lunch is a major text of the ‘Beat Movement’ and is often discussed in the context of other ‘Beat’ writings, notably those of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. See Contemporary Literary Censorship: The Case History of Burroughs' ‘Naked Lunch’ (1981), by Michael B. Goodman.

[back] Naked and the Dead, The

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or