Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

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Grove Press, 1959 (1962) . FIRST U.S. EDITION; Third Printing stated; Fine, in black half cloth, over black paper-covered boards, stamped in gilt on the backstrip; top edge stained black, as called for, in facsimile first state dustwrapper. Composed primarily of notes written while Burroughs resided in Tangiers (1953 - 1958), this masterpiece of Beat and early Drug Culture literature leans heavily upon Bryon Gysin's cut-up style: Burroughs as well having simply strewn his notes about the room, with Ginsberg, Corson, et al, assembling them into the final form of the book (a technique even later imitated by James Kunen's The Strawberry Statement), with Jack Kerouac supplying the title Naked Lunch. Publication in The United States was banned until 1962 three years after the initial Paris printing whereupon, by dint of mass literary intervention, it was published by upstart publisher Barney Rosset, of Grove Press, in a miniscule edition of 3500 copies even less than the 5000 original copies of the very scarce Olympia Press edition of 1959. While Naked Lunch earned Burroughs a place in literary history because of its innovations, the censorship trials attendant thereupon attracted publicity far exceeding the scope of the work itself, owing primarily to the stature of those who testified on behalf of the work's literary merit. Mary McCarthy and Norman Mailer praised the book highly at the Edinburgh International Writer's Conference in 1962, where Mailer proclaimed Burroughs,

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