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El almuerzo desnudo ( (1959)

de William S. Burroughs

Altres autors: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Col·laborador)

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

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9,865101534 (3.53)270
Bill Lee, an addict and hustler, travels to Mexico and then Tangier in order to find easy access to drugs, and ends up in the Interzone, a bizarre fantasy world, in an edition that features restored text, archival material, and an essay on psychoactive drugs.
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» Mira també 270 mencions

Anglès (98)  Neerlandès (1)  Francès (1)  Suec (1)  Totes les llengües (101)
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Overrated mound of flaming trash. Could really use a zero star option here. ( )
  NickAbbate | Oct 16, 2020 |
When we look back on our lives, there are key moments we are likely to remember. Our first day of school, Australia II winning the America’s Cup, the moment we lost our respective innocence. I lost mine aged eighteen, when I attempted to read Naked Lunch.

Naked Lunch entered my life in early 1990 when a newspaper article reported that an apparently infamous novel I had never heard of by an author I didn’t know was to be made into a film by director David Cronenberg. The article questioned not only the wisdom but also the sanity of Cronenberg for tackling such a project, as Naked Lunch had long been considered unfilmable.

I now know Naked Lunch to be a novel by William S. Burroughs, first published in 1959 in Paris by Olympia Press, and considered one of the landmark publications of American literature. However, in 1990 all I knew was that it was a controversial novel involving the words “Naked” and “Lunch”, both amongst an eighteen year olds favourites. Combined they suggested a tempting piece of creative writing, and an even better film.

I decided to read this unfilmable book before seeing the film.

So one fine autumn day I wandered into my local library and perused the Fiction section, specifically the shelves containing authors with surnames starting with “B”. I no doubt saw books by Richard Bach, William Peter Blatty and Charles Bukowski that day. But no Burroughs. Undaunted, I asked a librarian to reserve a copy.

She informed me that not only did the library not have a copy but there was only one Naked Lunch in the entire state library system, kept under lock and key at headquarters, along with other books considered too dangerous to keep on shelves for the general public to see. She could order it in but warned that the lending period was a week with no possibility of extension. She looked at me closely, watching for any sign of weakness in my resolve to borrow this filthy volume.

Later that week I received a call from a librarian informing me Naked Lunch had arrived. I had hardly the time to say “thank you” before she added that I would be required to produce identification proving I was eighteen and sign a form waiving the state library service of any responsibility for pain and suffering incurred from reading the book. Naked Lunch was sounding more interesting all the time.

Back at the library, I spent longer reading over the waiver’s fine print than I later would for my Home Loan application form. As the librarian reiterated the special borrowing conditions, a warm flush came over me, as I felt secretly thrilled. Not only was I about to read an obviously controversial book but people were expending a lot of effort on my behalf in the bargain.

As I held my copy of Naked Lunch for the first time there was a sense of anti-climax. Nothing on the paperback’s cover suggested I was holding something the state government deemed too dangerous to have in public view. Nor was there anything in the look the librarian gave me that suggested I was about to be greatly confused.

I got home, put the kettle on and started reading. Soon after I put the book down and went outside for some fresh air. Memory can be an imperfect creature but I recall the plot, such as it was, to involve men sodomising Arab boys. I’m sure there were other elements, such as drug taking and perhaps sexual acts not involving Arab boys, but Arab boys being sodomised seemed to stick in the mind of this somewhat naïve eighteen year old.

I would read one page at a time before needing to put the book aside and do something that didn’t make me feel so sordid. Eventually, driven by the knowledge that the book’s return date was looming fast, I would hesitantly pick up Naked Lunch again, read another page before again placing it aside for the sake of my mental wellbeing.

By the time the week ended I was still only half way through but fearing repercussions by the library police, I hotfooted the book back to the library.

There were a lot of questions the Naked Lunch film needed to answer.

It didn’t answer anything. While there was a thankful absence of Arab boys being sodomised, an array of weird special effects appeared in their stead, including, but not limited to, talking buttocks. If anything, my confusion about Naked Lunch increased.

I briefly considered going through the process of borrowing the novel again, but decided against it as I didn’t want to become known as “the man who twice borrowed the book that sits next to Mein Kampf on the shelf”.

In the years since, I have noted the acclaim lauded upon Naked Lunch. Time Magazine listed the novel as one of the 100 all time greats. The film has gained a cult following. And a recent search of the library shows a copy of Naked Lunch is freely available to borrow.

Other Naked Lunch related facts hitherto unknown to me also became known during a delve into the Internet, some merely intriguing (the band Steely Dan took its name from a dildo mentioned in the book) while others discoveries were more disturbing. One site provided some scene descriptions of the book, including a boy being raped as he hangs dead in a noose, and a couple lighting themselves on fire and fornicating as they fall from a skyscraper. I don’t recall reading either of these vignettes, perhaps for the best, as my nightmares are already graphic enough.

It took the touchstone of modern culture, The Simpsons, to put into words my feelings about Naked Lunch. In one episode Bart gains a fake drivers licence and takes his friends Milhouse, Martin and Nelson on a cross-country drive. The four are seen leaving a cinema showing Naked Lunch. Looking about as disturbed I did a decade or so before, Nelson says “I can find at least two things wrong with that title."

Amen brother. ( )
1 vota MiaCulpa | Aug 19, 2020 |
"The title means exactly what the words say: NAKED lunch--a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of the fork.” The book title was suggested by Jack Kerouac.

Swanson introduced its frozen TV dinners in 1953 selling 5,000 that year and ten million the next. Of course, heroin is an appetite suppressant so perhaps Jack Kerouac's title suggestion to the author sounded novel to him.

This is the type of book where I find the subject interesting but the execution much less so. The author seems to have been one of those people who lived interesting lives but did not write interesting books. ( )
  JoeHamilton | Jul 21, 2020 |
This was freakishly amazing, simultaneously making me wish I was on a full H binge with [b:Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas|7745|Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas|Hunter S. Thompson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1394204569s/7745.jpg|1309111], [b:Infinite Jest|6759|Infinite Jest|David Foster Wallace|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1446876799s/6759.jpg|3271542], and a whole slew of Stephen King books to cap off this horrific tome of pure poetry.

1959. And still absolutely harrowing today.

I thought movies like Requiem For A Dream or tv shows like The Wire were the most absolutely effective anti-drug memoir ever created by richly immersing us in the addict's life... but no.

Naked Lunch tips the reader right off a cliff into the deep end of an Heroin Dream, starting us right at the gross end of bodies breaking down, moving on to 1984-like Reconditioning Centers for total mental reprogramming, thank you very much, and then moving into the skull of a paranoid delusional fever dream of homosexuality and then alien societies.

If I could pick all of the heaviest hot-topics of the day and cram them all together into the heaviest fever pitch of a "normal's" fear, paranoia, misconceptions, and conspiracy theories, making the prose into a Beat-Poetry slam, and then fearlessly drowning the reader in jizz, then this is the book I'd point to as the poster child of all the books that would come after.

Seriously. The impact of this book on mainstream druggie fiction CANNOT be underestimated. Whole horror genres have spawned off of this book in the 80's. Talking assholes? A man who stole an opium suppository from his own grandmother's ass? Spontaneous liquefaction of bodies as a bug's-eye view of our modern society?

This stuff is RICH. It's also disgusting.

Hell, I'm a huge fan of Chuck Palahniuk and Peter Jackson's Dead Alive, and even these guys didn't quite go off the deep end as far as William S. Burroughs.

Hats off. Total Respect. Even if it's an enormously wild button-pusher, it's not like it's un-factual. The drugs are real. The lives of homosexuals were probably quite real for the day and age. The explosion of the importance and the wild revelry makes these things into a realm of All-Importance in this novel, though, making it at first horrifying, then surreal, and then almost pure science fiction. :) Truly a delight. :)

It's also a perfect piece to prepare for Halloween. Perfect for the feels, NOT the camp. I got scared. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Very strange and fragmented. Plotless it seems. Seems like there is something to offend everyone, but in a casual and unintentional way: Like someone stating facts rather than trying for shock value. A great novel of the 20th Century? I don't think so. A novel that experimented with writing style in the same way a someone experiments with drugs while writing a novel? Probably. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Burroughs, William S.autor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial CourtCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Ballard, J. G.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bramhall, MarkNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
de Grazia, EdwardCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ginsberg, AllenCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Grauerholz, JamesEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Joyce & Co.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lendínez, MartínTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mailer, NormanCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Meijsing, GeertenTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Meijsing, GeertenEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Miles, BarryEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ulin, David L.Epílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil-doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square station, vault and turnstile and two flights down the iron stairs, catch an uptown A train.
In life there is that which is funny, and there is that which is politely supposed to be funny. (Foreword)
The Supreme Court of Massachusetts in a decision handed down on July 7, 1966, declared Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs not obscene. (Naked Lunch on Trial)
I awoke from The Sickness at the age of forty-five, calm and sane, and in reasonably good health except for a weakened liver and the look of borrowed flesh common to all who survive The Sickness... (Introduction)
When I say I have no memory of writing Naked Lunch, this is of course an exaggeration, and it is to be kept in mind that there are various areas of memory. (Afterthoughts on a Deposition)
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As one judge said to another: Be just. And if you can't be just, be arbitrary.
"I studied neurology under Professor Fingerbottom in Vienna...and he knew every nerve in your body. Magnificent old thing...Came to a sticky end... His falling piles blew out the Duc de Ventre's Hispano Suiza and wrapped around the rear wheel. He was completely gutted, leaving an empty shell sitting there on the giraffe skin upholstery.... Even the eyes and brain went with a horrible schlupping sound.  The Duc de Ventre says he will carry that ghastly schlup to his mausoleum."
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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Fun fact: The ... edition ... published by France’s Olympia Press, misprinted the title. Burroughs had always intended to call the book simply Naked Lunch, but his editors added the article. The error was corrected in the first, 1962 American edition, but some later printings still included “the” in the title. http://flavorwire.com/231804/classic-...
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Bill Lee, an addict and hustler, travels to Mexico and then Tangier in order to find easy access to drugs, and ends up in the Interzone, a bizarre fantasy world, in an edition that features restored text, archival material, and an essay on psychoactive drugs.

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