Can someone explain this author and why I should or shouldn't read him? I tried getting into the naked lunch, I couldn't tell if I was reading the introduction or if they book was really about describing the effects of "junk" and the methods of treating it. The reasons I wanted to read burroughs in the first place, is because he apparently had a lot of influence on the industrial scene, with artists such as throbbing gristle.
Naked Lunch: read it like you would look at this picture, or like you would listen to mellow-harsh breakcore. Lay down on it and feel where it shakes but you're not getting a tattoo. Hope this helps.
Post-Modernists wrote to react to Modernism. To see how degraded a book can become and still be considered art. It was a comical ironic parody of Modernist tactics.
People believe Burroughs was a post-modernist, but he wasn't. He was actually just a shit fucking writer with nothing to say. The only thing is, 1959-1973, was a cultural explosion in the West
Why is the cultural explosion significant? Because every talentless jackass with zero talent can become famous simply by making a 'shock'. Now this shock created by these hacks is never one that actually evolves art, and it usually makes a big stink with people who are not of the art culture. Just random passerbys commenting on how "important and influential" this actual steaming pile of human dung is sitting on a bookshelf. When really, the shit isn't art, it just makes people look over and talk about it and it's rather unavoidable because the smell. It's a shit. It's something everyone has seen, yet because this shit was taken in public, all of a sudden people call it "art".
Then comes the phenomena of people attempting to stay current in this cultural explosion because quality does not matter, quantity does, and it doesn't matter the direction it goes in as long as you are seen to be on the cutting edge, even when that edge is dull and is going nowhere at all. So now people have to buy and review this piece of shit. Why is there a hair? Is that a spec of corn? Is that a drop of blood? Well, this surely is art...look at the mechanics! It's pushing boundaries....
...when it's really not. Someone just giggled while high, broke into a book store, and actually took a shit on a shelf because they wanted to see peoples reaction, not because they wanted to get that piece of shit published.
And there you have William S. Burroughs and all the other Beats.
Pieces of shit that idiots picked up because this shit was in public. The only progress they made is in annoying edgy hipster fags. Actual literature and culture is not truly affected by Burroughs or the Beats, ESPECIALLY when someone says that they are influenced by the Beats. They're not.
Such a pile of shit cannot produce influence. It has no power beyond "I saw this pile of shit once. It wasn't in a toilet. Radical. Revolutionary. So progressive."
When actually, shit belongs in a toilet and six-thousand years of society has actually said "no, it's not art to shit outside of the toilet. It's just unsanitary."
The Wild Boys is the only book that's actually made me squirm in discomfort, and it's more disturbing than any piece of media in any form I've ever been exposed to. But despite all that, it was still very enjoyable. It was like if Salvador Dalì tried to write a dystopian novel.
It's truly a shame that Naked Lunch is his most famous work, because it's also, in my opinion, one of the least enjoyable ones.