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

Too perfect to be sexually attractive.

We're very near a certain point where money doesn't mean anything... They say: How much money is this going to cost? This is really a totally meaningless concept. Money determines less and less our reality. Money is not constant factor, it's simply a process dependent entirely on acceptance for its existence. We already see situations without money, and I think that we're coming closer and closer to it.

When you stop growing you start dying.

You know, they ask me if I were on a desert island and I knew nobody would ever see what I wrote, would I go on writing. My answer is most emphatically yes. I would go on writing for company. Because I'm creating an imaginary ? it's always imaginary ? world in which I would like to live.

I had the feeling that all over America such stupid arguments were taking place on street corners and in bars and restaurants. All over America, people were pulling credentials out of their pockets and sticking them under someone else's nose to prove they had been somewhere or done something. And I thought someday everyone in America will suddenly jump up and say I don't take any shit! and start pushing and cursing and clawing at the man next to him.

I was standing outside myself trying to stop those hangings with ghost fingers... I am a ghost wanting what every ghost wants-a body-after the Long Time moving through odorless alleys of space where no life is, only the colorless no smell of death...Nobody can breath and smell it through pink convolutions of gristle laced with crystal snot, time shit and black blood filters of flesh.

If, after having been in someone's presence, you feel like you've lost a quart of plasma - avoid that presence. No one likes to hear the word vampire used around here... it's kind of bad for our public image.

Is Control controlled by its need to control? Answer: yes.

Kerouac opened a million coffee bars and sold a million pairs of Levis to both sexes. Woodstock rises from his pages.

Love is a haunting melody that I have never mastered, and I fear I never will.

My general theory since 1971 has been that the word is literally a virus, and that it has not been recognized as such because it has achieved a state of relatively stable symbiosis with its human host; that is to say, the word virus (the other Half) has established itself so firmly as an accepted part of the human organism that it can now sneer at gangster viruses like smallpox and turn them in to the Pasteur Institute.

Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

Rock and Roll adolescent hoodlums storm the streets of all nations. They rush into the Louvre and throw acid in the Mona Lisa?s face.

Take a shot in front of D.L. Probing for a vein in my dirty bare foot? Junkies have no shame? They are impervious to the repugnance of others. It is doubtful if shame can exist in the absence of sexual libido? The junky?s shame disappears with his nonsexual sociability which is also dependent on libido?

THE COUNTY CLERK: So there I was sitting in front of Jed's store over in Cunt Lick my peter standing up straight as a jack pine under my Levis just a-pulsin' in the sun ... Weell, old Doc Scranton walks by, a good old boy too, there's not a finer man in this valley than Doc Scranton. He's got a prolapsed asshole and when he wants to get screwed he'll pass you his ass on three feet of in-tes-tine ... If he's a mind to it he can drop out a piece of gut reaches from his office clear over to Roy's Beer Place, and it go feelin' around lookin' for a peter, just a-feelin' around like a blind worm ... So old Doc Scranton sees my peter and he stops like a pointin' dog and he says to me, `Luke, I can take your pulse from here.

The name's Clem Williamson Snide. I am a private asshole.

The usual mixture of rooms and squares and streets that is the mark of the Land of the Dead. Streets lead into kitchens and bedrooms, so no area is completely private or completely public.

There is the pleasurable orgasm, like a rising sales graph, and there is the unpleasurable orgasm, slumping ominously like the Dow Jones in 1929.

Truth is used to vitalize a statement rather than devitalize it. Truth implies more than a simple statement of fact. I don't have any whiskey, may be a fact but it is not a truth.

What a horrible loutish planet this is. The dominant species consists of sadistic morons, faces bearing the hideous lineaments of spiritual famine swollen with stupid hate. Hopeless rubbish.

Whenever anyone reads his words the writer is there. He lives in his readers.

You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence.

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.

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