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

Well, as you can plainly see, the possibilities are endless like meandering paths in a great big beautiful garden.

When you have a decision to make, get all the factors in front of you and look at the situation as a whole. Just look. Don't try to decide. The answer will come to you.

You know a real friend? Someone you know will look after your cat after you are gone.

I had not taken a bath in a year nor changed my clothes or removed them except to stick a needle every hour in the fibrous grey wooden flesh of heroin addiction. . . . I did absolutely nothing.

I was new in the game and like all young thieves thought I had a license to steal. It didn't last.

If you wish to alter or annihilate a pyramid of numbers in a serial relation, you alter or remove the bottom number. If we wish to annihilate the junk pyramid, we must start with the bottom of the pyramid: the Addict in the Street, and stop tilting quixotically for the higher ups so called, all of whom are immediately replaceable. The addict in the street who must have junk to live is the one irreplaceable factor in the junk equation. When there are no more addicts to buy junk there will be no junk traffic. As long as junk need exists, someone will service it.

Intelligence and war are games, perhaps the only meaningful games left. If any player becomes too proficient, the game is threatened with termination.

Kerouac and I are not real at all. The only thing about a writer is that he has written, and not his so-called life. 'And we (will) all die and the stars will go out, one after another.'

Look at these poisonous color maps where flesh trees grow from human sacrifices; listen to these sniggering half-heard words of tenderness and doom from lips spotted with decay

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 conversations had a nightmare flatness, talking dice spilled in the tube metal chairs, human aggregates disintegrating in cosmic insanity, random events in a dying universe.

The junk merchant doesn't sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.

The unworthies in power feel danger, like cows uneasily pawing the ground with a great Moo.

There is simply no room left for 'freedom from the tyranny of government' since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare. Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission. Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it.

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.

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