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Insistence of the MaterialLiterature in the Age of Biopolitics$
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Christopher Breu

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816688913

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816688913.001.0001

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The Novel Enfleshed

The Novel Enfleshed

Naked Lunch and the Literature of Materiality

(p.35) Chapter 1 The Novel Enfleshed
Insistence of the Material

Christopher Breu

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents a reading of William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch. It discusses his articulation of three forms of materiality in the emerging era of globalization and biopolitics: the linguistic, the bodily, and the political economic. The novel reflects the life of early twentieth-century experimentalists and surrealists, and describes the postmodern period of fiction, globalization, neoliberal biopolitics, and immaterial production. It suggests that people need to be mindful to the most obscene and degraded forms of material existence that are directly shaped by biopolitics and thanatopolitics if they want to see the possibility of a better future.

Keywords:   William Burroughs, Naked Lunch, biopolitics, globalization, materiality, linguistic, bodily, political economic, thanatopolitics

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