RARA-AVIS: Naked Lunch

From: Jay Gertzman ( jgertzma@earthlink.net)
Date: 22 Oct 2006

>Evidently Burroughs is revealing the
>depths of depravity borne of drug addiction, sadism, and pedophilia.

True. And beyond that, he is revealing the obsessions and addictions that result from the exercise of authority--scientific, political, academic. Dr Benbow, and the "algebra of need" that defines his actions, is the best example. Miker mentioned that no one would publish NL today for fear of offending religious groups, esp. Muslims. That's probably true, but wasn't the book first published in 1959 by the Olympia Press in Paris, not in the US, b/c of its "obscenity" and descriptions of
"depravity"? It was the last of the "high literary value" banned books published in this country to be liberated, in 1966, after Miller, Lawrence, and Selby. Burroughs was obscene, all right, b/c in what other kind of story could he let people "see what is on the end of that long newspaper spoon"? For an example of that today, recall that although political correctness would inhibit the publishing and distributing of critiques of fundamentalist Islam, our President can speak of
"Islamo-fascists" in hopes of reminding people before Nov 8 of who protects them from evil enemies. Where is the sense of restraint that should prevent the kids in NL to try erotic asphixiation, or the sense of decency that would prevent Benbow from his hellish perversions of social engineering? In the same toilet that the cigarette companies swam in while they successfully scared major newspapers out of printing stories (lest they lose too much advertising revenue) of the connection between cancer and smoking from about 1939 to 1960. There's your algebra of need. No wonder it was American novelists who invented noir.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Oct 2006 EDT