Originally Posted by taosaur
Well, [Naked Lunch
] wasn't meant to be read
At least, not straight through or in its entirety--just picked up and opened at random from time to time.
My problem with William Burroughs is that he's repetitious -- not only in that book, but in nearly everything he wrote after Junky
, a novel which I prefer infinitely to what came after (as did Lou Reed, who actually told Bill so).
The Cronenberg movie was pretty sweet.
You might be interested in this interview with Burroughs by Allen Ginsberg
, which I had the pleasure of editing before we published it. Turns out Burroughs liked the film adaptation more than a lot of his fans did. Ginsberg liked it, but his vast pulsating ego winced at the flick's portrayal of him (which comes from the book Literary Outlaws
, which was as much a source for Cronenberg's film as the (pr)eponymous novel).
Burroughs and Ginsberg also talk about assembling Interzone
from a Sargasso Sea of notebooks and tattered papers (some of which might originally have been attached to a cardboard roll! (jk)), and mention that, without Kerouac and his prodigious typing skills, that book would not exist.
The film Naked Lunch
worked in part because Cronenberg's own fetishes are far from those of Burroughs -- he needed the distance from the subject, I think, to give the film those levels (there's a lot of carefree finger-painting with feces in the book). I've always thought his adaptation of Crash
wasn't nearly as good because C's impulses got the better of him. He and Ballard seem to have the exact same fetishes, with Ballard being the more objective of the two.