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InvisibleYidakiMan
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Naked Lunch
    #1060312 - 11/17/02 06:01 PM (14 years, 21 days ago)

I just finished Naked Lunch by William Burroughs. This thread is for literary discusion on that work.


I've found the first half of the book harder to understand the second half of the book. The second half as I understand it is nearly all unrelenting obscene satire of society.
Could someone help me understand the importance of the Mugwumps? What is the importance of the centipedes. Specifically as Dr. Benway brings a young man whom he has experimented on into the board meeting, the young man turns into a centipede and the attendents burn it. Anyother topics relating to Naked Lunch are, of course, welcomed.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: YidakiMan]
    #1061000 - 11/17/02 11:32 PM (14 years, 21 days ago)

What a book... man... um...

I'm not really sure what you could discuss about this book.


It's very detailed, but I don't think there's a lot of concious intent behind the imagery. It's so hallucinatory and abstract that any kind of deconstruction would be time consuming and futile.

I have more to say, but I'm too stoned to muster the energy to put my thoughts into words.

Sorry.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
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InvisibleYidakiMan
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: Phluck]
    #1061228 - 11/18/02 01:16 AM (14 years, 21 days ago)

Most of the imagery I interpret as brutal commentary on human society. Dr. Benway is remarkably similar to the doctors of Hitler's Nazi campaign.


Latah's I interpret as pop-culture fiends following anything they see. After seeing someone follow a pop culture trend, have you ever asked them or asked yourself if they will jump off a bridge if someone said it was hip? I lack page numbers, but think of the part in which Dr Benway intends to have a Latah and a normal person on a gallows with a strech rope and a real one. He will instruct the normal person to hang himself, telling him that it is the strech rope. However he gives the normal person the real rope. He explains vividly how the latah would hang himself just like the normal person making every twitch that he does. Do you see the metaphor?

The whole book is riddled with them, and they are all commentary on the society that we rebel against.


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Invisiblebivalve
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: YidakiMan]
    #1062665 - 11/18/02 03:07 PM (14 years, 20 days ago)

The Benway bits are meant to be comical, mostly,
I think. Like the bit with the espontaneo in the
operating theater and stuff. I guess he takes on
other forms throughout but he's mainly absurd.
It's been a long time since I last read it.

I never really saw it as something you could read
that much into. I always thought it was kind of like
a long hallucination. Basic themes like, I don't know-
depersonalization, the state, religion, I don't know.
There's junk as a metaphor for whatever and all that.
I don't think that's really important. Like, the Annexia
police searching the guy's house with a mentalist
and finding a shoe horn and all that stuff. I don't
think it's that important as some kind of commentary
on the state or anything. It's just another bit of the
nightmare hallucination. I think it's kind of wrong
when people call it a 'satire' or anything like that.
The thing that makes it great is that it isn't really
a satire or social commentary.



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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: bivalve]
    #1063944 - 11/18/02 09:40 PM (14 years, 20 days ago)

Yeah.

Anyone seen the movie? I thought it was pretty neat, but you have to read some of his other stuff to get it. It's more of a movie about the book than based on the book.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: Phluck]
    #1063956 - 11/18/02 09:42 PM (14 years, 20 days ago)

If you buy into deconstructionism (looking for meaning that the author put in subconciously), then you could probably write massive textbooks about it, but I think that's generally rubbish.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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InvisibleYidakiMan
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: Phluck]
    #1064231 - 11/18/02 11:22 PM (14 years, 20 days ago)

I am not sure why I see so much metaphor in the book. I just feel as if the imagery has to describe something besides schizophrenic hallucination.


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OfflineSKINNYDOGGY
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: Phluck]
    #1064236 - 11/18/02 11:23 PM (14 years, 20 days ago)

The movie is about afew of bills books :laugh: 


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Feels Like Heaven Taste Like Shit



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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: YidakiMan]
    #1064265 - 11/18/02 11:38 PM (14 years, 20 days ago)

Schizophrenia does not come into play.

And yeah, the movie is about his life, and the writing of Naked Lunch, but it's based on several of his books.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Offlinemonoamine
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Re: Naked Lunch [Re: Phluck]
    #1103301 - 12/02/02 08:49 AM (14 years, 6 days ago)

I felt like I really understood that book when I was strung out from opiates.


--------------------
People think that if you just say the word "hallucinations" it explains everything you want it to explain and eventually whatever it is you can't explain will just go away.It's just a word,it doesn't explain anything...
Douglas Adams


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