A play on the term wormhole
, a wordhole
is a literary mechanism used most effectively in Naked Lunch
by William S. Burroughs
. In its simplest form, a wordhole is the same phrase repeated at two different points in the manuscript, possibly more than a hundred pages apart, probably in entirely different contexts. An example from Naked Lunch
Boss Man. I'll wipe your ass, I'll wash out your dirty
condoms, I'll polish your shoes with the oil on my
- page 17
A Sollubi rushes into the bar and starts polishing The
Saint's shoes with the oil on his nose.... The Saint kicks
him petulantly in the mouth.
- page 118
"Naked Lunch contains multiple reference points, flashpoints, which propell the reader forward and backward through time and space. Using cutups and other montage techniques, Burroughs has effectively created a work that can be 'intersected at any point.'"
- from http://www.bigtable.com/