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

It was Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junk-sick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat.

Last night I woke up with someone squeezing my hand. It was my other hand.

Man is an artifact designed for space travel. He is not designed to remain in his present biologic state any more than a tadpole is designed to remain a tadpole.

Naked Mr. America, burning frantic with self bone love, screams out: My asshole confounds the Louvre! I fart ambrosia and shit pure gold turds! My cock spurts soft diamonds in the morning sunlight!

Open your mind and let the pictures out.

Smash the control images. Smash the control machine.

Thanks for the American dream, to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through. Thanks for a country where nobody's allowed to mind their own business.

The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principles of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action to the complete parasitism of a virus. (It is thought that the virus is a degeneration from more complex life-form. It may at one time have been capable of independent life. Now has fallen to the borderline between living and dead matter. It can exhibit living qualities only in a host, by using the life of another ? the renunciation of life itself, a falling towards inorganic, inflexible machine, towards dead matter.) Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapse. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existence as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host.

The program of the ruling elite in Orwell's 1984 was: A foot stamping on a human face forever! This is naive and optimistic. No species could survive for even a generation under such program. This is not a program of eternal, or even long-range dominance. It is clearly an extermination program.

There couldn't be a society of people who didn't dream. They'd be dead in two weeks.

Thinking is not enough. Nothing is. There is no final enough of wisdom, experience--any fucking thing. No Holy Grail, No Final Satori, no final solution. Just conflict.

We are like water creatures looking up at the land and air and wondering how we can survive in that alien medium. The water we live in is Time. That alien medium we glimpse beyond time is Space. And that is where we are going.

What's with the serum? I don't know, but it sounds ominous. We better put a telepathic direction finder on Benway. The man's not to be trusted. Might do almost anything...Turn a massacre into a sex orgy... Or a joke. Precisely. Arty type...No principles...

Who was I? The stranger was footsteps in the snow a long time ago.

Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative.

I miss you so much your absence causes me, at times, acute pain. I don't mean sexually. I mean in connection with my writing.

If I had my way we'd sleep every night all wrapped around each other like hibernating rattlesnakes.

In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality. It is as final as the mountains: a fact. There it is. When you realize it you cannot complain.

It's the little touches that make a future solid enough to destroy.

Lee finished his third drink and turned to Allerton. I figure to go down to South America soon, he said. Why don?t you come along? Won?t cost you a cent. Perhaps not in money. I?m not a difficult man to get along with, said Lee. We could reach a satisfactory arrangement. What you got to lose? Independence. So who?s going to cut in on your independence? You can lay all the women in South America if you want to. All I ask is be nice to Papa, say twice a week.

Many doctors are drawn to this profession (psychology) because they have an innate deficiency of insight into the motives, feelings and thoughts of others, a deficiency they hope to remedy by ingesting masses of data.

Never do business with a religious son-of-a-bitch. His word ain't worth a shit -- not with the Good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.

Our national drug is alcohol. We tend to regard the use any other drug with special horror.

So cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.

Thanks, for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business. Thanks, for a nation of finks.

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