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Naked Lunch Telepathic Conversation

by Veronica Paredes

In this scene from David Cronenberg's 1991 Naked Lunch, the diegetic conversation overlaps with the ultimate intra-diegetic -- inside the character's minds. Propelled into altered states by drugs and other such psychosis-inducements, telepathy becomes eerily indistinguishable from common verbal communication. Adapting the unadaptable, Cronenberg combined Burroughs' biography with that of the character's experiences in the 1959 novel Naked Lunch. With this conversation between the Tom Frost character and the protagonist Bill Lee, one cannot help but think of Joan Vollmer, Burroughs' slain wife, killed during a mishap during a game of "William Tell" in which Burroughs killed Vollmer by shooting her in the head; Burroughs was aiming for a water tumbler Vollmer was balancing on her head. 

Interzone as allusion to Tangier, Moroccco

by Veronica Paredes

Another critical take on this clip would explore how William S. Burroughs, and in this film adaptation Cronenberg, use the Arabic location as a backdrop for illicit drug use and madness. Why is it that Lee moves on to Interzone, a fictional location Burroughs used in Naked Lunch to allude to Tangier, Morocco (where he himself fled for some time), after he kills his wife? How is this location characterized? And what do these depictions reveal about their Western creators?

Naked Lunch Telepathic Conversation

Bill Lee (Peter Weller) and Tom Frost (Ian Holm) discuss murdering wives in a telepathic conversation in David Cronenberg's adaptation of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch.

from Naked Lunch (1991)
Creator: David Cronenberg
Posted by Ala' Diab
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