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4th Apr '13 3:30:54 PM Morgenthaler
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[[redirect:Literature/NakedLunch]]

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[[redirect:Literature/NakedLunch]]''Naked Lunch'' may refer to:

* The novel ''Literature/NakedLunch'' by Creator/WilliamSBurroughs
* The film ''Film/NakedLunch'' by Creator/DavidCronenberg, loosely based on the novel

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16th Dec '12 10:27:35 PM FastEddie
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[[redirect:Literature/TheNakedLunch]]

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[[redirect:Literature/TheNakedLunch]][[redirect:Literature/NakedLunch]]
16th Dec '12 10:27:01 PM FastEddie
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[[redirect:Literature/TheNakedLunch]]
16th Dec '12 11:05:03 AM JIKTV
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[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/naked_lunch.jpg]]

->"[[NonIndicativeTitle I can think of at least two things wrong with that title.]]"
-->--[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Nelson Muntz]], after seeing the movie.

My God, how do you summarize the 1959 novel ''Naked Lunch'', the seminal work of [[TheBeatGeneration beat generation]] author WilliamSBurroughs, in mere words?

A {{dystopia}}n sci-fi meets ''[[DivineComedy Dante's Inferno]]'', but experienced by a [[ImmuneToDrugs heroin addict]] in the [[TheFifties 1950s]]. A carnival of everything middle-class America apparently feared at the time: [[FetishFuel experimental sexuality]], [[DrugsAreBad drug abuse]], foreigners, [[WhiteDudeBlackDude interracial relations]], [[ScienceIsBad 'forbidden sciences']], [[PoliceAreUseless gang violence and mob rule]]. A TakeThat against traditional American values and [[{{Hypocrite}} perceived hypocrisies]] which reads like a collaboration between Allen Ginsberg and Encyclopedia Dramatica.

Some editions of the book include an author's foreword, where Burroughs [[DontExplainTheJoke explains the title]]. The phrase "naked lunch" is meant to describe the [[CassandraTruth unvarnished truth about what people do to survive in society]]. The specific lunch that Burroughs wants to unclothe is the custom of [[ThouShaltNotKill capital punishment]]. He objects to the fact that many [[JudgeJuryAndExecutioner people who endorse capital punishment]] are still reluctant to pull the switch, throw the first stone, or otherwise take on the moral responsibility for what he considers murder. In a sense, "naked lunch" is the opposite of euphemism. Thus his famous quote, "Let them see what is at the end of that long newspaper spoon." Of course, Burroughs, by his own admission, [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs doesn't remember writing most of the actual text of the book]], so the author's foreword could very well be RetCon.


DavidCronenberg released a 1991 film adaptation of 'Naked Lunch' [[PragmaticAdaptation that used very little of the book's material]], claiming a literal adaption would be not only impossible, but "[[BannedInChina banned]] [[UpToEleven in every country in the world]]". Instead, he creates a [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory heavily fictionalized biopic]] about William S. Burroughs, in which Burrough's long time [[AuthorAvatar avatar]], William Lee, is working as exterminator and [[EverybodyMustGetStoned gets high off his bug powder]]. He later flees to Interzone after the now-legendary [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace shooting of his wife]], Joan Vollmer, where he becomes tangled in a world of surreal espionage, through contact with several giant bug-shaped, alien typewriters who talk out of their asses. You read that right.

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!!Contains examples of:

* AccentRelapse: While probably theatrics on Benway's part, he'll sometimes speak in an effeminate, stereotypically gay voice, and at other times speak like an American Southerner. Also: "Benway's voice drifts into my consciousness from no particular place... a disembodied voice that is sometimes loud and clear, sometimes barely audible, like music down a windy street."
** Also Salvador Hassan O'Leary, who is said to lapse into broken English in times of stress. "His accent at such moments suggests an Italian origin."
* AllGaysArePromiscuous: In fairness, it's the '50s. Gay culture didn't have the stability to really support monogamy when this was written.
* AlternateUniverse: Interzone is a dystopian caricature of Tangier, Morocco.
* AnachronicOrder: The chapters are arranged in the order in which they came back from the printer; Burroughs and his friends decided that they couldn't really improve on it. Burroughs was famous for doing this 'cut-up' in his other poetry, as well. [[spoiler:Except for the section where Lee kills Hauser and O'Brien. It was originally supposed to happen near the beginning, but was moved to the end, creating another contradiction in space and time where Lee is presumably back in America, after having traveled through Mexico and South America into Africa.]]
* AndIMustScream: "Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole how to talk?"
* ArcWords: Certain phrases and descriptions are repeated constantly throughout Burroughs's body of work. Most during his Nova Trilogy and Red Night Trilogy, but ''Naked Lunch'' has a few, as it is the culmination of all of his early work; 'blank insect eyes', 'like music down a windy street', 'shitting and pissing in terror', 'No glot. C'lom Fliday'.
* AxCrazy: A.J., who, after crashing Hassan's orgy dressed like a pirate, decapitates middle-aged women while singing 'Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle of Rum'.
* BannedInChina: In 1965, this was the last major work of literature to get unbanned in the American town of Boston (which [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banned_in_Boston banned quite a lot of things]].)
* BlackComedy
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Even the Factualists, the Interzone political party that Lee supports, are a bunch of psychos. It's just that they don't believe in what the ''other'' parties are doing -- like melting people (Liquefactionists), cloning themselves (Divisionists), or experimenting with MindControl (Senders).
** And even so, the other parties are not all as separate in practice as they are in the abstract.
* BuryYourGays: But only if they're CampGay.
** Partially averted in the movie, where the CampGay Kiki is [[spoiler: eaten by a giant centipede Julian Sands]] but the the equally camp Allen Ginsberg stand-in [[spoiler: makes it out alive]].
* CementShoes: Alluded to several times in Burroughs's word mosaics.
* CloneDegeneration: The Divisionists' replicas need to recharge (through physical -- but not necessarily sexual -- contact) with their original body or 'mother cell', but are dyed and altered with body molds to disguise the fact that they're replicas.
* ContemplateOurNavels: Behind all the filth and horror, Burroughs is crying.
* ContinuityNod: The opening pages contain many very brief mentions of characters and events from Burroughs's first two novels, ''Junky'' and ''Queer'', such as Bill Gains in someone else's overcoat and Lupita, Lee's Mexico City pusher, seated like an Aztec Earth Goddess. Hell, even the description of the Mugwump eerily recalls a suspicious individual mentioned towards the end of ''Junky''.
* CrapsackWorld
* CreatorBreakdown: Burroughs always said that he would never have become a writer if not for Joan's death. This is portrayed in the film... sort of.
* CreepyMonotone: William S. Burroughs's legendary voice, imitated by more than one character in the movie (mostly the beetles and the Mugwump.)
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: ''Naked Lunch'' begins Burroughs' proud tradition of juxtaposing the horrors of a paranoid futuristic delusions with Aztec and Mayan iconography. This is taken to new levels in his next book, ''The Soft Machine''.
* CultureClash: Interzone, although primarily Tangiers, seems to incorporate elements of the American Deep South (Cunt Lick County), the South American rainforests (The Upper Baboonsasshole), and socialist Europe (Annexia).
* DeadBabyComedy
* DeathBySex: ''Orgasm Death'' is a reoccurring phrase in Burroughs's work, as is the image of a hanged man jizzing in his pants at the moment of death - which has been known to happen in real life, by the way.
* DeletedScene: The ''Restored Text'' edition of Naked Lunch contains an appendix that collects some material omitted from the original version of the novel, most memorably the conclusion to Carl's examination by Dr. Benway.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The reptiles giving oral to the Mugwumps for a drug that prolongs life.
** In the movie, the Mugwumps' semen is sort of a metaphor for Burroughs' own narcotics use. It gives him brilliant creative ideas, yes, but it's also destroying him.
* DevelopmentHell: Attempts at filming ''Naked Lunch'' have been made, on and off, since the [[TheSixties 1960s]].
* EroticAsphyxiation: He has a habit of writing scenes where teenage boys very sensually get their necks broken via noose.
* EroticDream: In fact, surreal pseudoporn makes up about a fourth of the book.
* EverybodyMustGetStoned: The Black Meat and Mugwump fluid, metaphors for the horror of addiction.
* FakeBrit: A.J., whose British accent 'waned with the British empire'.
* FantasticCasteSystem: The Parties of Interzone.
* FantasticRacism: Thanks to the Divisionists. "If some citizen ventures to express a liberal opinion, another citizen invariably snarls: 'What are you? Some stinking nigger's bleached-out replica?'"
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: William Lee
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Hassan is referred to by several of his many aliases ('The Shoe Store Kid', 'Placenta Juan the Afterbirth Tycoon') before actually appearing.
* FurAndLoathing: 'Guard in a uniform of human skin...'
* GenreRoulette: An undercover look at drug culture, raunchy porn, biting social satire, science-fiction and some hard boiled noir thrown in for good measure.
* AGoodNameForARockBand: The band Music/SteelyDan got their name from a dildo in this book.
** The group Clem Snide took theirs from a recurring Burroughs character who appears for the first time in ''Naked Lunch''.
* {{Gorn}}: Lots of it.
* [[SociopathicHero Heroic Sociopath]]: A.J. again. He's not actually heroic at all, but he's slightly less evil than most of the other characters (with the exception of Lee himself).
* HeyItsThatGuy: The movie has Peter Weller (aka {{Robocop}}) as Lee, Nicholas Campbell (aka [[Series/DaVincisInquest Dominic Da Vinci]]) as the Kerouac standin, Roy Scheider as Benway, and Ian Holm, Robert Silverman, and Julian Sands in other roles.
* HeyItsThatVoice: The Mugwumps and the Typewriters in the film all sound a lot like Burroughs.
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: Subverted. In the film, Clark Nova explains that Lee was 'programmed' to shoot his wife, Joan. Although this is based on a tragically straight RealLife example.
** Burroughs went on to write the book for ''TheBlackRider'', a stage musical (with songs by [[TomWaits Tom goddamn Waits]]) whose plot also revolves around a man being supernaturally manipulated into shooting his own wife. In the opera on which it's based, ''DerFreischutz'', the bullet is deflected by the wife's wedding wreath and there's a happy ending. In the Burroughs' version... not so much.
* ImmodestOrgasm: Described as 'like a shooting star'.
* InterspeciesRomance: The Mugwump and a blonde boy in the book, Cloquet and Kiki in the film. Cloquet looks human enough... at first.
* ItsNotPornItsArt: Slashtubitch's opinion on his 'blue movies' and, of course, the book itself as decided by the Supreme Court.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: Whether or not there even ''is'' a plot is up for debate. Regardless, every scene reveals something more is going on then we're being told.
* KillItWithFire: Bradley the Buyer; suggested for The Complete All American Deanxitized Man
* LargeHam: '''THE GREAT SLASHTUBITCH!'''
* MadScientist: Dr. Benway, played hilariously straight.
** Nor is he the only one, judging by the references to Dr. Limpf, Dr. Tetrazzini (who saw surgery as an art form), and 'Fingers' Schaeffer, the Lobotomy Kid.
** And then there's Doctor Berger, of the ''Mental Health Hour'', who claims proudly to have cured the neuroses of all kinds of patients, from homosexuals to writers. "I got enough health for the whole fuckin world!"
* MagicGenetics: The Divisionists cut off chunks of their flesh and grow full replicas of themselves in petri dishes.
* MakingLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: Usually on the gallows.
* MindScrew: ''Literally'' at one point ("This brain atrophy already").
* MultipleEndings: While not present in the book, a short in the Burroughs anthology, ''Interzone'' contains a story called ''The Conspiracy'' that acts as an alternate ending to the ''Hauser and O'Brien'' section. Instead of calling the police station from a desolate payphone, Lee hides at a female acquaintance's apartment for a few days and muses about his fate.
* NastyParty: Hassan's Orgy
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Lee is an obvious standin for Burroughs himself. The film also includes two characters who are pretty clearly Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
* NoEnding: After a succession of rambling, the book seems to end with an unseen cataclysm.
* NotSoStoic: Doctor "Fingers" Schaeffer.([[spoiler: "Clarence!! How can you do this to me?? Ingrates!! Every one of them ingrates!"]])
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: The County Clerk, and most of his employees in the Old District Court House.
* PeoplePuppets: Senders control people by telepathically transmitting their thoughts. This was the inspiration behind [[{{Scanners}} another movie]] by DavidCronenberg.
* PerfectPacifistPeople: The Freeland Republic, which is "clean and dull my God." An earlier passage in the book implies that Freeland is inspired by Burroughs' experiences in Scandinavia.
* PoliceAreUseless: Hauser and O'Brien[[spoiler: chase Lee all the way to Interzone (or maybe just around New York, we're not sure) then get killed by pistol fire after Lee shoots up some dope.]]
* ProperlyParanoid: With all the weird shit running around, it makes perfect sense for Lee to flee the country as fast as he can.
* RefugeInAudacity: A terror attack at a political conference, wherein the terrorist detonates a grenade he shoved up his own ass.
* RefugeInVulgarity
* {{Ruritania}}: In the brief bit of it we see in the film, Annexia's border guards are wearing little fur hats and speak in Russian accents.
* ScrewYourself: "Sex with a replica is strictly forbidden and almost universally practiced."
* TitleDrop: For the sub-section ''Ordinary Men and Women''.
* ToiletHumor
* TooKinkyToTorture: Most of the lynching and dismemberment is completely consensual because they're all actors in a very grandiose and pretentious porno movie.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The film isn't as much based on the book, as it is based on Burroughs's own life with elements of the book incorporated. Then again, Burroughs very heavily drew on his experiences traveling abroad and that's the scary part.
* VillainProtagonist: A. J. is the intended hero of the book, a 'laughable lovable eccentric' whose track list of pranks include spiking the punch at a Fluoride Society meeting with a vine that melts the gums; spraying himself with bug spray, then releasing a swarm of potent, aphrodisiac insects into the New York Metropolitan, creating a massive orgy; and initiating a riot at a Five Star restaurant that ends with the owner being eaten by famished hogs.
* VillainousCrossdresser: Benway, in the film.
** Though to be fair, he doesn't really wear women's clothing so much as [[spoiler: wear a woman.]]
* WalkingTheEarth: Essentially what Burroughs did in the fifties, migrating from Chicago to New York to Mexico to South America to Tangiers to London. ''Junky'', ''Queer'', and ''Naked Lunch'' are all based on these experiences.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: Burroughs wrote in the preface that the hanging scenes were a tract against capital punishment 'in the style of Jonathan Swift'. One would find that easy to believe if he hadn't gone on to write about three more books about hanging, which makes the whole thing dubiously reek of AuthorAppeal.
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: Well, actually, it ''was''. Burroughs claimed, in the original foreword, that he wrote the first draft in a drug-cocktail haze and had no recollection of actually writing it -- although he later admitted that he was exaggerating.
** This is referenced [[InvokedTrope in the movie]], where Lee has no memory of writing his manuscript, and suspects that it may not have even been him.
* WhatMightHaveBeen: At one point, FrankZappa approached Burroughs with the idea of adapting the novel as a musical - an idea that Burroughs quite liked.
* WilliamTelling: In TheFilmOfTheBook, William Lee is shown shooting a glass of whiskey off of Joan Lee's head in what they called their "William Tell act." That's... basically how it happened in real life.
* WordSaladTitle: Created accidentally by Burroughs' friends Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac; while the work was still in progress, Ginsberg was reading aloud from the book (a portion, ironically, that was cut in later drafts), and Kerouac misheard two words and blurted out something like: '"Naked ''lunch?''" What the hell does ''that'' mean?'
* WriterOnBoard: Burroughs isn't afraid to express his opinions on whatever he wants, usually in the form of condemning farce. Also, the entire movie is about writers talking about writing; and at one point a typewriter sprouts an erect penis-like appendage when pornography is written on it.
* ZeroGSpot

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5th Dec '12 11:04:05 AM JeffWeskamp
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My God, how do you summarize the 1959 novel ''Naked Lunch'', the seminal work of [[TheBeatGeneration beat generation]] author, WilliamSBurroughs, in mere words?

to:

My God, how do you summarize the 1959 novel ''Naked Lunch'', the seminal work of [[TheBeatGeneration beat generation]] author, author WilliamSBurroughs, in mere words?
5th Dec '12 11:03:14 AM JeffWeskamp
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My God, how do you summarize the 1959 novel ''Naked Lunch'' in mere words? The seminal work of [[TheBeatGeneration beat generation]] author, WilliamSBurroughs.

to:

My God, how do you summarize the 1959 novel ''Naked Lunch'' in mere words? The Lunch'', the seminal work of [[TheBeatGeneration beat generation]] author, WilliamSBurroughs.
WilliamSBurroughs, in mere words?
14th Oct '12 10:04:28 PM Willbyr
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[[quoteright:265:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nakedlunch_6016.jpg]]

-->"[[NonIndicativeTitle I can think of at least two things wrong with that title.]]"

to:

[[quoteright:265:http://static.%% Image selected for this page per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1350146289034680100
%% If a separate page is started for the film version, the removed pic can be put there.
%% Please do not change or remove this pic without starting a new IP thread.
%%
[[quoteright:300:http://static.
tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nakedlunch_6016.org/pmwiki/pub/images/naked_lunch.jpg]]

-->"[[NonIndicativeTitle ->"[[NonIndicativeTitle I can think of at least two things wrong with that title.]]"






A [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] sci-fi meets [[DivineComedy Dante's Inferno]], but experienced by a [[ImmuneToDrugs heroin addict]] in the [[TheFifties 1950s]]. A carnival of everything middle-class America apparently feared at the time: [[FetishFuel experimental sexuality]], [[DrugsAreBad drug abuse]], foreigners, [[WhiteDudeBlackDude interracial relations]], [[ScienceIsBad 'forbidden sciences']], [[PoliceAreUseless gang violence and mob rule]]. A TakeThat against traditional American values and [[{{Hypocrite}} perceived hypocrisies]] which reads like a collaboration between Allen Ginsberg and Encyclopedia Dramatica.

to:

A [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] {{dystopia}}n sci-fi meets [[DivineComedy ''[[DivineComedy Dante's Inferno]], Inferno]]'', but experienced by a [[ImmuneToDrugs heroin addict]] in the [[TheFifties 1950s]]. A carnival of everything middle-class America apparently feared at the time: [[FetishFuel experimental sexuality]], [[DrugsAreBad drug abuse]], foreigners, [[WhiteDudeBlackDude interracial relations]], [[ScienceIsBad 'forbidden sciences']], [[PoliceAreUseless gang violence and mob rule]]. A TakeThat against traditional American values and [[{{Hypocrite}} perceived hypocrisies]] which reads like a collaboration between Allen Ginsberg and Encyclopedia Dramatica.



[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/naked_lunch.jpg]]

DavidCronenberg released a 1991 film adaptation of 'Naked Lunch' [[PragmaticAdaptation that used very little of the book's material]], claiming a literal adaption would be not only impossible, but "[[BannedInChina banned]] [[UpToEleven in every country in the world]]". Instead, he creates a [[{{VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory}} heavily fictionalized biopic]] about William S. Burroughs, in which Burrough's long time [[AuthorAvatar avatar]], William Lee, is working as exterminator and [[EverybodyMustGetStoned gets high off his bug powder]]. He later flees to Interzone after the now-legendary [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace shooting of his wife]], Joan Vollmer, where he becomes tangled in a world of surreal espionage, through contact with several giant bug-shaped, alien typewriters who talk out of their asses. You read that right.

to:

[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/naked_lunch.jpg]]


DavidCronenberg released a 1991 film adaptation of 'Naked Lunch' [[PragmaticAdaptation that used very little of the book's material]], claiming a literal adaption would be not only impossible, but "[[BannedInChina banned]] [[UpToEleven in every country in the world]]". Instead, he creates a [[{{VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory}} [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory heavily fictionalized biopic]] about William S. Burroughs, in which Burrough's long time [[AuthorAvatar avatar]], William Lee, is working as exterminator and [[EverybodyMustGetStoned gets high off his bug powder]]. He later flees to Interzone after the now-legendary [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace shooting of his wife]], Joan Vollmer, where he becomes tangled in a world of surreal espionage, through contact with several giant bug-shaped, alien typewriters who talk out of their asses. You read that right.right.



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27th Aug '12 11:53:53 AM JigokuBosatsu
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Added DiffLines:

** Though to be fair, he doesn't really wear women's clothing so much as [[spoiler: wear a woman.]]
9th Jun '12 10:02:04 AM Catbert
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A [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] sci-fi meets [[DivineComedy Dante's Inferno]], but experienced by a [[ImmuneToDrugs heroin addict]] in the [[TheFifties 1950s]]. A carnival of everything middle-class America apparently feared at the time: [[FetishFuel experimental sexuality]], [[DrugsAreBad drug abuse]], [[EvilForeigner foreigners]], [[WhiteDudeBlackDude interracial relations]], [[ScienceIsBad 'forbidden sciences']], [[PoliceAreUseless gang violence and mob rule]]. A TakeThat against traditional American values and [[{{Hypocrite}} perceived hypocrisies]] which reads like a collaboration between Allen Ginsberg and Encyclopedia Dramatica.

to:

A [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] sci-fi meets [[DivineComedy Dante's Inferno]], but experienced by a [[ImmuneToDrugs heroin addict]] in the [[TheFifties 1950s]]. A carnival of everything middle-class America apparently feared at the time: [[FetishFuel experimental sexuality]], [[DrugsAreBad drug abuse]], [[EvilForeigner foreigners]], foreigners, [[WhiteDudeBlackDude interracial relations]], [[ScienceIsBad 'forbidden sciences']], [[PoliceAreUseless gang violence and mob rule]]. A TakeThat against traditional American values and [[{{Hypocrite}} perceived hypocrisies]] which reads like a collaboration between Allen Ginsberg and Encyclopedia Dramatica.
6th Jun '12 6:37:17 PM Catbert
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* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: William Lee



* TheIshmael: William Lee
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