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 see no reason why the artistic world can't absolutely merge with Madison Avenue. Pop art is a move in that direction. Why can't we have advertisements with beautiful words and beautiful images?

If shit blood con knife injection Dehn has been going all right.

In his search for a suitable sexual object there is something curiously systematic and asexual - he methodically ticks more and more candidates from a list from the outset seems drawn to the idea of failure. On a very deep level he does not want to succeed, but is ready to make every effort to avoid the recognition that actually does not seek sexual contact.

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.

Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.

Moor did not have tuberculosis or kidney trouble or undulant fever. He was sick with the sickness of death. Death was in every cell of his body.

No atomic physicist has to worry; people will always want to kill other people on a mass scale. Sure, he's got the fridge full of sausages and spring water.

Panic is the sudden realization that everything around you is alive.

Sodomy is as old as the human species.

The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.

The exact objectives of Islam Inc. are obscure. Needless to say everyone involved has a different angle, and they all intend to cross each other up somewhere along the line.

The Pusher always gets it all back.

There is in fact something obscene and sinister about photography, a desire to imprison, to incorporate, a sexual intensity of pursuit.

This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games. All games are basically hostile. Winners and losers. We see them all around us: the winners and the losers. The losers can oftentimes become winners, and the winners can very easily become losers.

We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures, and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision. They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident, inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.

When I say madness I mean what I see in a nut house: beat, resigned, dim, diffuse, nowhere people. No fire no intensity no life. There is madness & madness if you want to stretch the word.

Writers don't write, they read and transcribe.

I do spend a great deal of time alone. I'm not very gregarious. I don't like parties and miscellaneous gatherings with no particular purpose. I think parties are largely a mistake. The bigger they are the more mistaken they are.

I started to write in about 1950; I was thirty-five at the time; there didn't seem to be any strong motivation. I simply was endeavoring to put down in a more or less straightforward journalistic style something about my experiences with addiction and addicts.

If the mortality rate seems high we must realize that Nature is a ruthless teacher. There are no second chances in Mother Nature's Survival Course.

In homosexual sex you know exactly what the other person is feeling, so you are identifying with the other person completely. In heterosexual sex you have no idea what the other person is feeling.

Junk is the ideal product... the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy.

Like many people who have nothing to do, he was very resentful of any claims on his time.

Most of the trouble in the world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has. Now your virus is an obligate cellular parasite and my contention is that evil is quite literally a virus parasite occupying a certain brain area which we may term the RIGHT center. The mark of a basic shit is that he has to be right. And right here we must make a distinction between the hard-core virus-occupied shit and a plain, ordinary, mean no-good son of a bitch. Some of these sons of bitches don't cause any trouble at all, just want to be left alone and are only dangerous when molested, like the Brown Recluse.

No body of knowledge needs an organizational policy. Organizational policy can only impede the advancement of knowledge. There is a basic incompatibility between any organization and freedom of thought.

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