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julianmeynell

Julian Meynell's Books

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Review

Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs, James Grauerholz, Barry Miles

It is a fascinating experimental novel.  It is a kind of drug fueled satire.  It is part of a modernist movement of nightmare that has as its representatives Bacon in Art and Lou Reed in music.  Interestingly Reed credits Burroughs as a huge influence. 

 

It is a hallucinogenic, discordant sort of plotless novel.  It is about imagery and quick little bits and pieces.  The whole thing feels like you are having a party on one of Dante's circles of hell.  Its quite good and a lot of later writing owes a lot to it.  In particular, I had not realized quite how much Pynchon was ripping off Burroughs.

 

The book is worth reading for its imagery and way with language.  I'm not much of a fan of this kind of thing, being very luke warm to both Joyce and Pynchon, but here this kind of writing is close to its best, in part because Burroughs keeps it short and does not wear out his welcome.

 

Good for the language and imagery.