I’d like to meet a guy named Art. I’d take him to a museum, hang him on the wall, criticize him and leave. And as well all know, Art is the shortened version of Arthur, with the most famous Arthur in history being the legendary king Arthur. King Arthur represents the Anglo Saxons, well before the introduction of the Latinate tongue coming into Britain. Old English was the common tongue, or vulgate, of which the word vulgar is derived. Today, vulgar has come to mean coarse language, typically scatological in nature. That makes vulgar a word with low brow connotations associated with it.
William Burroughs’s novel, Naked Lunch, could be described as vulgar in both the old world sense of the word, and it’s modern usage. Burroughs utilizes a high concentration (this is a Latinate word) of Anglo Saxon words, as well as a smattering of foul and raunchy language which would come to represent the vulgar we know and recognize today. So on the surface, Naked Lunch is a low brow piece of art.
But I think Naked Lunch is more than just a series of shockingly violent homosexual scenes and illicit drug use. I feel Naked Lunch is the epitome of a high brow work of art, in that it’s filled with brilliant, cutting edge satire and witticisms that match anything produced by Pulitzer prize winning author Dave Barry. And Naked Lunch’s surrealness is on par with any sketch of Monty Python’s, and the truth behind Burroughs’s humor I’d parallel to the power of Mark Twain’s precise epigrams…
Because of the high level of creativity and imagination within Naked Lunch, I feel that it is much more than a book for the common man. It is packed full of enlightening concepts, ideas. And ideas are like legs–what good are they if you can’t run with them or spread them like green, ghost-like junky legs?