20.4.05

Naked Lunch.

Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs is one of those legendary books that has inspired practically everyone, including Will Self, one of my favorite contemporary writers. It's nightmarish, paranoid, and if Burroughs ever achieved the rebellion against media-controlled-words in one text, it's this one. I haven't actually managed to finish it, instead, it's a book I'll dip into, read a few paragraphs, and then shove back under the sofa, back onto the shelf, or in the gigantic pile of books and paper beside my bed.

I'm not in the habit of overanalysing literature, I like to take what I can see and run with it. With Burroughs, there's almost too much text to even start analysing anyway - and there's not much point in trying to dissect a dissected corpse in the first place. But I'm currently on page 92, and when I flip open a page I've not flipped open for oh...months...I'm immediately immersed in a mirror world, where things are similar but not quite as I know it. Perhaps the world that can only exist in a single perception: vivid, multicoloured, faggy and loud. I like Burroughs. I like him a lot.

"They are escorted by a drunken cop to register in a vast public lavatory. The data taken down is put on pegs to be used as toilet paper."

For someone who was always known as a gentleman, Burroughs had the ability to walk anywhere, and do and say exactly as he please without too many repercussions. And so, through this freedom, he was able to write words like those, live out in Tangiers, have friends push him forward, buy sex and heroin on the streets and live in piles of paper for his entire life. Naked Lunch is a testament to freedom - a manual, a memory. It's a dictionary, a cultural experience. I have absolutely no idea how to recommend it to anyone or irrigate inspiration from it, but I know that I must.