The Naked Lunch

BURROUGHS, William. The Naked Lunch.

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BURROUGHS, William. The Naked Lunch. London: John Calder in association with the Olympia Press, 1964.

8vo. original beige boards, spine lettered in gilt; unclipped photographic dust wrapper showing the author with red eyes, taken by Ian Somerville; pp. [iv], 251, [i]; text block itself near-fine, a clean and bright copy with slight compression to head and foot, upper edge a trifle dusty; jacket good, and complete, but with some scratches, dark marks from rubbing, creasing, and a few small nicks to edges. Unclipped (42s).
First UK edition.
The Naked Lunch was Burroughs seminal and most controversial work. It was banned in several US states, and is one of the most recent American books to undergo an obscenity trial. Using his own experiences as a drug addict, his satirical and dream-like narrative “cuts like a scalpel under the surface skin of reality to the festering sores that plague modern man underneath” (Dust Jacket). Originally written as a series of vignettes, Burroughs intended the chapters to be read in any order, and it was in fact his closest acquaintances who put the novel together into some form of (in)coherent whole. The title, as Burroughs claims in his introduction, was suggested by his close friend Jack Kerouac, and means “exactly what the words say: NAKED Lunch – a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork”.