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

My experience as an addict was very useful to me as writer: the whole syndrome of addiction and withdrawal and the extensions of that and other forms of addiction. It gave me a great deal of material. A writer can profit by something that someone else may not be able to profit from at all. Yet they were very disagreeable experiences. Very boring experiences.

Nothing happens by coincidence.

Remember the Italian steward who put on women's clothes and so filched a seat in a lifeboat? "A cur in human shape, certainly he was born and saved to set a new standard by which to judge infamy and shame.

Successful control means achieving a balance and avoiding a showdown where all-out force would be necessary.

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 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 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.

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