With every single cell in my body and extraordinary patience, I will attempt to read this book again. I don’t know why I have the urge to read it whenever summer approaches. And then I have to give up after 20 pages. I have yet to get past the benway chapter. It’s been three years. This book needs help. Or I need help.
Though I have read the beginning of Naked Lunch three times, I wouldn’t call this a re-reading because I barely reached the half point and because I understand nothing. This is an extremely difficult book to read on account of it’s non-linear narrative, weird language, strange characters, and obscure drug references, which creates this dizzying effect appropriate to the chosen drug of our protagonist for a specific chapter. It frustrates me so much but I keep wanting to read it. It’s like an annual addiction I can’t quit.
This copy of Naked Lunch (Harper Perennial, 2005 edition) has a P.S. which includes extra material written by Burroughs that didn’t make it to the book, Burroughs’ biography, and essays about Naked Lunch by other authors. I pray that I do not have to write this same post again.
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg found Burroughs drugged as f in his Morocco hotel room, picked up the manuscript for Naked Lunch scattered all over the floor, and typed it out for him. Likewise, my friends will pick up the shattered pieces of my brain and arrange them back in my skull once it malfunctions and explodes from comprehending this complicated piece of literature.
That’s what friends are for.