From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Naked Lunch is a novel by William S. Burroughs. It was the third novel he wrote, but was the second of his novels to see publication. David Cronenberg released a film of the same title based upon the novel and other Burroughs writings in 1991.
Talking body orifice
- "Then [the anus] developed sort of teeth-like little raspy incurving hooks and started eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it, but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street, shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags nobody loved it and it wanted to be kissed same as any other mouth. Finally it talked all the time day and night, you could hear him for blocks screaming at it to shut up, and beating it with his fist, and sticking candles up it, but nothing did any good and the asshole said to him: ‘It's you who will shut up in the end. Not me. Because we don’t need you around here any more. I can talk and eat and shit’". --Naked Lunch (1959) - William S. Burroughs
The book was first published as The Naked Lunch in France in 1959 by Olympia Press; an American edition by Grove Press followed soon after in 1962. The American edition was titled Naked Lunch and was substantially different from the Olympia Press edition. The American edition was in fact based on an earlier 1958 revision of the text that Allen Ginsberg had in his possession. The article the in the title most likely was never intended by the author, but added by the editors of the Olympia Press 1959 edition. Nonetheless the The Naked Lunch title version was also used for the 1969 Corgi Books edition.