William S. Burroughs, fully William Seward Burroughs II

William S.
Burroughs, fully William Seward Burroughs II
1914
1997

American Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist, Painter and Spoken Word Performer

Author Quotes

I had the feeling that some horrible image was just beyond the field of vision, moving, as I turned my head, so that I never quite saw it.

I wasn't exposed to art as I was growing up, and can't recall the first time I saw a work of art. However, I remember very clearly a vision I had of a little green reindeer when I was a child, and visions emanate from the same mythical area where painting resides. Whatever the reason, I immediately felt comfortable working with visual materials.

If, after spending time with a person, you feel as though you've lost a quart of plasma, avoid that person in the future.

It is doubtful if shame can exist in the absence of sexual libido.

Kick is seeing things from a special angle. Kick is momentary freedom from the claims of the aging, cautious, nagging, frightened flesh. Maybe I will find in yage what I was looking for in junk and weed and coke.

Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller what there is. LOVE. [last words]

My greatest strength is to have a great capacity to confront myself no matter how unpleasant. My greatest weakness is that I don't. I know that's enigmatic, but that's sort of a general formula for anyone, actually.

Now what sort of man or woman or monster would stroke a centipede I have ever seen? And here is my good big centipede! If such a man exists, I say kill him without more ado. He is a traitor to the human race.

Scientology is a model control system, a state in fact with its own courts, police, rewards and penalties.

Tea heads are gregarious, they are sensitive, and they are paranoiac. If you get to be known as a "drag" or a "bring down," you can't do business with them.

The dark Gods of pain are surfacing from the immemorial filth of time...

The only possible ethic is to do what one wants to do.

The way to kill a man or a nation is to cut off his dreams, the way the whites are taking care of the Indians: killing their dreams, their magic, their familiar spirits.

There may be people who like centipedes... Personally, I would regard such an individual with deep suspicion. I have just petted my cat: And how is this good little cat beast? Now what sort of man or woman or monster would stroke a centipede on his underbelly? And here is my good big centipede! If such a man exists, I say kill him without more ado. He is a traitor to the human race.

Victimless crimes are the lifeline of the RIGHT virus. And there is a growing recognition, even in official quarters, that victimless crimes should be removed from the books or subject to minimal penalties. Those individuals who cannot or will not mind their business cling to the victimless-crime concept, equating drug use and private sexual behavior with robbery and murder. If the right to mind one's own business is recognized, the whole shit disposition is untenable and Hell hath no vociferous fury than an endangered parasite.

What are Americans? We've got everything from sharecroppers to atomic physicist here, and there's certainly no uniformity in their thought processes. There's very little they have in common. In fact, Americans should we say, have less in common than any other nationality.

Whether you like it or not, you are committed to the human endeavor. I cannot ally myself with such a purely negative goal as avoidance of suffering. Suffering is a chance you take by the fact of being alive.

You need a good bedside manner with doctors or you will get nowhere.

I have learned the junk equation. Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.

I would say for a great percentage of people, all they do is repeat their past. They really don't have a future at all.

I'm an old-fashioned person, and I don't like informers.

It is indeed difficult to make a living as a writer, and my advice to anyone contemplating a literary career is to have some other trade.

Knowing you might not make it... in that knowledge courage is born.

Madness is confusion of levels of fact. . . . Madness is not seeing visions but confusing levels.

My purpose in writing has always been to express human potentials and purposes relevant to the Space Age.

Author Picture
First Name
William S.
Last Name
Burroughs, fully William Seward Burroughs II
Birth Date
1914
Death Date
1997
Bio

American Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist, Painter and Spoken Word Performer