William S. Burroughs, fully William Seward Burroughs II

William S.
Burroughs, fully William Seward Burroughs II

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

Author Quotes

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 lay down and tried to sleep. When I closed my eyes I saw an Oriental face, the lips and nose eaten by disease. The disease spread, melting the face into an amoeboid mass in which the eyes floated, dull crustacean eyes. Slowly, a new face formed around the eyes. A series of faces, hieroglyphs, distorted and leading to the final place where the human road ends, where the human form can no longer contain the crustacean horror that has grown inside it.

If everyone is to be made responsible for everything they do, you must extend responsibility beyond the level of conscious intention.

In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality.

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 respiration is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer.

The purpose of my writing is to expose and arrest Nova Criminals.

There is a kidney-shaped fish pool outside the picture window. I cleaned it out and put in some large goldfish I bought in a bait store. The cats are always trying to catch the fish, with no success. One time the white cat leapt for a frog across the pool. The frog dove in and the cat fell in. He is trouble-prone.

Thinking is not enough. There is no final enough of wisdom, experience - any... thing.

We are setting out to create new worlds, new beings, new modes of consciousness.

When he smiled the fear flew away in little pieces of light...

Why does an addict get a new habit so much quicker than a junk virgin, even after the addict has been clean for years? I do not accept the theory that junk is lurking in the body all that time - the spine is where it supposedly holes up - and I disagree with all psychological answers. I think the use of junk causes permanent cellular alteration. Once a junky, always a junky. You can stop using junk, but you are never off after the first habit.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.

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.

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

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