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Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
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really liked it
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The 1st of Burroughs' 4 or 5 cut-up novels. I reckon the 1st cut-up NOVEL ever. Certainly remarkable for that. But let's not forget, Tristan Tzara & Bob Cobbing deserve more credit for cut-ups (in poetry) than Burroughs & Gysin. In fact, Burroughs sortof 'normalized' cut-ups by never taking them 'too far' beyond what fit his narrative purpose.

I only give this a 4 star rating b/c I like the next 3 cut-up novels so much more. This edition has "Naked Lunch on Trial" re its attempted censorship, an introduction: "Deposition: A Testimony Concerning a Sickness" by Burroughs, & an appendix from The British Journal of Addiction. I don't know if all the other editions are this thorough. As usual, Grove gets kudos for publishing this in the 1st place. A library of ONLY bks that've been suppressed wd be a remarkable adjunct to my long-proposed Museum of Free Thought. "Naked Lunch" wd certainly fit right in.

When I learned that Cronenberg had made a version of "Naked Lunch" I was very excited: favorite director, favorite bk. Then I saw the movie & didn't like it - except for the Ornette Coleman soundtrack. I preferred Anthony Balch's "Towers Open Fire" as more formally radical. In retrospect, though, Cronenberg's empahasis on Burroughs' problematic relations w/ women seems daring. To include the accidental "William Tell" shooting of Joan Burroughs & to turn that into a driving force behind Burroughs' writing was a Cronenberg touch that pushed things into a territory other directors might not've touched.
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