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

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 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 some horrible image was just beyond the field of vision, moving, as I turned my head, so that I never quite saw it.

I wasn't exposed to art as I was growing up, and can't recall the first time I saw a work of art. However, I remember very clearly a vision I had of a little green reindeer when I was a child, and visions emanate from the same mythical area where painting resides. Whatever the reason, I immediately felt comfortable working with visual materials.

If, after spending time with a person, you feel as though you've lost a quart of plasma, avoid that person in the future.

It is doubtful if shame can exist in the absence of sexual libido.

Kick is seeing things from a special angle. Kick is momentary freedom from the claims of the aging, cautious, nagging, frightened flesh. Maybe I will find in yage what I was looking for in junk and weed and coke.

Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller what there is. LOVE. [last words]

My greatest strength is to have a great capacity to confront myself no matter how unpleasant. My greatest weakness is that I don't. I know that's enigmatic, but that's sort of a general formula for anyone, actually.

Now what sort of man or woman or monster would stroke a centipede I have ever seen? And here is my good big centipede! If such a man exists, I say kill him without more ado. He is a traitor to the human race.

Scientology is a model control system, a state in fact with its own courts, police, rewards and penalties.

Tea heads are gregarious, they are sensitive, and they are paranoiac. If you get to be known as a "drag" or a "bring down," you can't do business with them.

The dark Gods of pain are surfacing from the immemorial filth of time...

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