Naked Lunch | Study Guide

William Burroughs

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Naked Lunch | Chapter 25 : Quick... | Summary



This final section presents a series of poetic but often grotesque and menacing snips of words and phrases. Burroughs presents the reader with images such as "trailing the colorless death smell" and "afterbirth of a withered grey monkey." Some of the phrases, such as "He stood there in a 1920 straw hat somebody gave him," read like starts of stories. The last phrase is, "No glot [...] C'lom Fliday."


Following the declaration he will open his "word horde" in Chapter 24, this section seems to illustrate what the opening of said horde will entail. Burroughs in his later novels works with the "cut-up" technique, which involves literally cutting apart words and phrases on paper and placing them in unusual order. The disjointed manner of this chapter provides a look at what the cut-up technique might look like in practice. However, Burroughs may or may not have actually used the technique here. To end with such a disjointed presentation implies the search for meaning is less important than the experience of the words. Burroughs emphasizes the language as it stands in the given moment.

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