Michael B. Goodman (essay date 1980)
SOURCE: Goodman, Michael B. “The Customs' Censorship of William Burroughs' Naked Lunch.” Critique 22, no. 1 (1980): 92-104.
[In the following essay, Goodman discusses the process by which Burroughs's novel was seized by the U.S. Customs Service in 1959 and subsequently banned as an obscene work.]
With its descriptions of violent eroticism, William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch (1959) hit a sensitive cultural nerve more forcefully than other books which discussed sex explicitly. It dealt vividly with the interrelationship of sex and violence, with sex and cannibalism, with bestiality, and with homosexual exploitation. Through his caricatures of sexual...
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