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Naked Lunch @ 50: Anniversary Essays Paperback – 30 Jun 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: EDS Publications Ltd. (Consignment) (30 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809329166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809329168
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,183,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


I can think of no other work of literary criticism that brings together such a multiplicity of artists, practitioners, and critics in such a dynamic assembly of writing forms. The resulting symbiosis strikes me as a whole new critical form, utterly pertinent to Burroughs' milieu. - Michael Hrebeniak, author of Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form

About the Author

Oliver Harris, the author of William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination, is a professor of American literature at Keele University. He is the editor of The Letters of William S. Burroughs, 1945-1959, ""Everything Lost"": The Latin American Notebook of William S. Burroughs, and Burroughs' novels Junky: The Definitive Text of ""Junk"" and The Yage Letters Redux. Harris is also the author of numerous scholarly articles on Burroughs, the Beat Generation, film noir, and the epistolary form. Ian MacFadyen has written about William S. Burroughs in a number of essays, including ""Machine Dreams: Optical Toys and Mechanical Boys"" in the collection Flickers of the Dreamachine. His other work includes Ira Cohen's Photographs: A Living Theatre and The Blood of the Poet: Lorca and the Duende.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some excellent insight into arguably the most influential novel of the twentieth century. However, the role of apomorphine, is barely explored? This is odd particularly when Burroughs himself said he owed 'Naked Lunch' to this drug and its treatment for opiate dependency. (Rub out the words)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even now, fifty years and counting, Burroughs' great, gamey novel resists assimilation, commodification and domestication. Any neophytes to the novel should expect a wild and careering trainride through the blasted landscape of Burroughs' imagination - the horrors of addiction and control are explicated through shock, language tested to destruction and glittering black humour.
This book is a timely collection of essays on the novel; edited by Oliver Harris (who should need no introduction to the Burroughs' critic, having carried out some sterling work in the Burroughs' archives over the years as well as producing some fine writing on the man and the work) and Ian MacFadyen (who has written about the Dreamachine, so dear to Burroughs' heart, and here contributes a very interesting series of dossiers) and containing some excellent contributions by such noted critics as Jennie Skerl and such cultural historians as Barry Miles, as well as figures such as DJ Spooky and Jonas Mekas.
That list alone should signify just how influential Burroughs has been, as well as just how much that influence has extended beyond the merely literary.
Essays on Burroughs in Tangier and Paris (Hibbard, Hemmer, Hussey and Lebel), personal responses (Miles), reactions to the Lunch as physical object (Birmingham and Mackay), even a totally new take on the subject (for me, at least) in Shaun De Waal's explication of the impact the novel had on him as a gay South African - I'm impressed by the wide range of material in this wonderful collection. It's a worthy enough tribute to Uncle Bill, God bless him.
And you even get a laudatory blurb from Lou Reed - a man not given to throwing compliments around.
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