Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1959 publication of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch Home About Contact RSS Updates Press  


Naked Lunch at 50: Anniversary Essays

Have a thoughtful question about Naked Lunch? Feel free to contact NakedLunch.org. Meanwhile…

Take your business to Walgreen’s…

Steal anything in sight.

We are not responsible.

I don’t know how to return it to the white reader.

You can write or yell or croon about it… paint about it… act about it… shit it out in mobiles… So long as you don’t go and do it…

Senators leap up and bray for the Death Penalty with inflexible authority of virus yen…. Death for dope fiends, death for sex queens (I mean fiends) death for the psychopath who offends the cowed and graceless flesh with broken animal innocence of lithe movement….

The black wind sock of death undulates over the land, feeling, smelling for the crime of separate life, movers of the fear-frozen flesh shivering under a vast probability curve….

Population blocks disappear in a checker game of genocide…. Any number can play….

The Liberal Press and The Press Not So Liberal and The Press Reactionary Scream approval: “Above all the myth of other-level experience must be eradicated….” And speak darkly of certain harsh realities… cows with the aftosa… prophylaxis….

Power groups of the world frantically cut lines of connection….

The Planet drifts to random insect doom….

Thermodynamics has won at a crawl… Orgone balked at the post…. Christ bled… Time ran out….

You can cut into Naked Lunch at any intersection point…. I have written many prefaces. They atrophy and amputate spontaneous like the little toe amputates in a West African disease confined to the Negro race and the passing blonde shows her brass ankle as a manicured toe bounces across the club terrace, retrieved and laid at her feet by her Afghan Hound….

Naked Lunch is a blueprint, a How-To Book.. Black insect lusts open into vast, other planet landscapes…. Abstract concepts, bare as algebra, narrow down to a black turd or a pair of aging cajones…

How-To extend levels of experience by opening the door at the end of a long hall…. Doors that only open in Silence…. Naked Lunch demands Silence from The Reader. Otherwise he is taking his own pulse….

– William S. Burroughs, “Atrophied Preface,” Naked Lunch, 1959