What is interzone?

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
It's that place in music videos from the 1980s where you're walking down the street and people in legwarmers and frizzy perms are doing the splits in front of you.
 
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rob_giri

Well-known member
Good question. I've always found Burrough's Interzone imagery deeply vivid and relevant

From memory, his conception of it originated from a Yage/ayahuasca experience (that he documented in letters to ginsberg, released as the Yage Letters) in which he saw, in a murky and intense hellish vision, a vast futuristic city in which the entire of humankind lived, and all of the potentials of humanity exploding in all their ferocity - in ecstasy and in nightmarish murder - every imaginable potential being milked and exploited and expanded - everything from the most ecstatic of drug-fuelled orgies to droves of people clawing and gnashing eachother to death in the streets.


It's hard to say what he really meant by that but somehow it has stuck with me for many years, having first read naked lunch at 14. Just an image of the brutal, raw, intense reality of our humanness in full force. Like a trans-dimensional sphere of the source of what it means to be human - that you can visit in dreams.

Jodorowsky has similiar themes in his films obviously (Holy Mountain, El Topo etc), and I've always liked how, when people would ask him why there was so much senseless violence in his films, he would answer because violence was so much a part of our humanity and the truth of what he referred to it as 'the force of life'. I like that phrase very much, 'the force of life'.

In hindsight, on such a thing as ayahuasca which I have experienced on a few occasions - you tend to have visions, wild lucid experiences, of things which personally encapsulate your total vision of what life is all about. For Burroughs - a true hero of human evolution in my books - he saw Human Potential in it's chaos and it's possibility. Although Heroin remained his chief vice and inspiration throughout his life, it was the Ayahuasca and those visions which inspired most of his later creative work, in my opinion.
 

blackpixie

Well-known member
i just bookmarked that "chapter" yesterday and have yet to read all of it. But i think its obviously in the future, a place or society? It's revealing like a caricature of humanity's inherently twisted unconscious. Education is held hostage and, apparently, it is always spring here... ha but i just got into it
 

king feliks

New member
Interzone refers to tangier being an international city as it was from 1923 to 1957. An international city is an autonomous or semi-autonomous city-state that is separate from the direct supervision of a single nation-state.
 

JWoulf

Well-known member
nah, it's in part obviously modeled after tangier. But it's not only "Inter" in room, but also time. Sort of a futuristic nexus of the burroughs world.
 

hi2u

tyranical rhetoric rex
gysin burroughs and cronenberg all seem to draw different conclusions...but tangiers is a real place. in the film adaptation of naked lunch interzone is very much the same as tangier. the film does depict the activities described previously and perhaps also in the yage letters.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
...a murky and intense hellish vision, a vast futuristic city in which the entire of humankind lived, and all of the potentials of humanity exploding in all their ferocity - in ecstasy and in nightmarish murder - every imaginable potential being milked and exploited and expanded - everything from the most ecstatic of drug-fuelled orgies to droves of people clawing and gnashing eachother to death in the streets.
Sounds familiar...

"[The Old Ones'] cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."​
- H.P.Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Although Heroin remained his chief vice and inspiration throughout his life, it was the Ayahuasca and those visions which inspired most of his later creative work, in my opinion.
I remember reading somewhere that Burroughs considered psychedelics more dangerous than opiates - and it goes without saying he knew a fair thing or two about both kinds of drugs. Whether he meant dangerous to the individual taking the drugs, or dangerous to the society that individual belongs to or its government, I don't know. It's an interesting statement anyway, especially given the tendency of many 'enlightened' drug users to fetishise psychedelics while abhorring 'bad' drugs like heroin.
 
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I'm always a little saddened when I see people taking William Burroughs' ideas seriously as ones to run with. He was a brilliant, entertaining writer at times, but he didn't half knock out a lot of old crap too. And if you think the yage gave him some kind of mystical insight, why not just get proper religious and have some visions of your own, like? People have seen unicorns in Vauxhall, but I wouldn't take Track 1 of the Horse Meat Disco compilation (which begins with a testimony regarding this) as something worth chewing over.

And Jodorowsky has precisely nothing to do with any of this. He's always been a sagacious scholar of philosophy, religion, art, and all the rest of the good stuff, and he's always been far too smart to get caught up in the drug life. Whether or not you can run with his approach is another matter, but it's got bugger all to do with the paranoid drug visions of the nation's favourite hound-faced adding machine heir. Which are extremely limited in scope, compared to Philip K Dick's, say.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i think what the person above me says is wrong.
i think burroughs was a genius. i certainly dont think Jodorowsky is in the same league artistically or intellectually. burroughs had his flaky side, scientology, orgone boxes, dream machines etc but the bulk of the ideas/concepts etc are spot on. as close to truth as anyone has got really.
 
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