Something William S. Burroughs wrote in "Naked Lunch," which I was reading this morning in my iPhone after running across this in today's NYT:
In 1965, Mr. de Grazia went to Boston to appeal a court ban of William S. Burroughs’s sexually explicit novel “The Naked Lunch.” He summoned literary lions like Norman Mailer and Allen Ginsberg to testify about the book’s artistic worth and won his argument, that genius should never be curbed because of differences over taste or morality.Edward de Grazia — who also fought in the Supreme Court for our right to read Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" and to see "I Am Curious (Yellow)" — has died at the age of 86.
The book, published in 1959, was the last work of fiction to be censored by the Postal Service, the Customs Service and state governments.
Here's his book: "Girls Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius."
It's only by chance that my random entry into my "Naked Lunch" ebook took me to something about death. I'm certainly not saying that de Grazia was like Rube, but I was intrigued by the "Naked Lunch" take on death panels, and it's only a random fact that de Grazia died of Alzheimer's disease.
Climb up on top of the mattresses and lush themselves out... What are you picturing there? Drinking? Sex? Relaxing and luxuriating? The (unlinkable) OED defines "lush" (the intransitive verb) to mean "To drink, indulge in drink."
1811 Lexicon Balatronicum, Lush, to drink.There's no entry for "lush out," but there is "lush up." It means "To get drunk." I search my "Naked Lunch" ebook for other uses of "lush," which always everywhere else meant "drunk," so those smother partiers must have been drinking. The search tool also finds the word when it's inside another word, and I'm charmed by the false positives:
1825 C. M. Westmacott Eng. Spy II. 252 Smoke, take snuff, lush.
1835 P. Hawker Diary (1893) II. 90 The captain and his mate having..‘lushed it’ ashore all night.
1851 H. Mayhew London Labour I. 179/2, I was out of work two or three weeks, and I certainly lushed too much.
"So they drive to this plush jump joint, and the father say, 'All right, son. You're on your own. So ring the bell and when the woman come give her the twenty dollars and tell her you want a piece of ass.'"...
There was the time me and the anesthetist drank up all the ether and the patient came up on us, and I was accused of cutting the cocaine with Saniflush.... "Some fucking drug addict has cut my cocaine with Saniflush! Nurse! Send the boy out to fill this Rx on the double!"