This chapter considers the work and life of William S. Burroughs, and proposes that Naked Lunch (1959) constructs something like a nightmare image of Latourian sociality: a collective of human subjects and nonhuman objects governed by the logic of putrefaction, or “translation” run amok. The novel not only visualizes a welter of “literal garbage” decomposing in a dumpsite, which Burroughs names the “junk world,” but also assumes the formal structure of a landfill, a site governed by the logic of putrefaction. In other words, rather than simply representing the dump, Burroughs enacts a mimetic relation to it, thereby converting spatial into literary form.
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