Quotes of William S. Burroughs

“ Like all pure creatures, cats are practical. ”

- William S. Burroughs

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

- William S. Burroughs

“ There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Whether you like it or not, you are committed to the human endeavor. I cannot ally myself with such a purely negative goal as avoidance of suffering. Suffering is a chance you take by the fact of being alive. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ The first and most important thing an individual can do is to become an individual again, decontrol himself, train himself as to what is going on and win back as much independent ground for himself as possible ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ To be an outlaw you must first have a base in law to reject and get out of, I never had such a base. I never had a place I could call home that meant any more than a key to a house, apartment or hotel room. … Am I alien? Alien from what exactly? Perhaps my home is my dream city, more real than my waking life precisely because it has no relation to waking life… ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ 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. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ when I become death. Death is the seed from which I grow. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Fear of death is form of stasis horrors. The dead weight of time. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ 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. (Interview, The Paris Review) ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ 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. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ There is only one thing a writer can write about: what is in front of his senses at the moment of writing... I am a recording instrument... I do not presume to impose “story” “plot” “continuity”... Insofar as I succeed in Direct recording of certain areas of psychic process I may have limited function... I am not an entertainer... ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Fear of death is form of stasis horrors. The dead weight of time. ”

- William S. Burroughs

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

- William S. Burroughs

“ After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I want to see the manager.". ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Most of the trouble in this 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. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas. Casual curses are the most effective. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it "creative observation." Creative viewing. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ 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. ”

- William S. Burroughs

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

- William S. Burroughs

“ Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas. Casual curses are the most effective. ”

- William S. Burroughs

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

- William S. Burroughs

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

- William S. Burroughs

“ Junk is the ultimate merchandise. The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise, he degrades and simplifies the client. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Junk is the ultimate merchandise. The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise, he degrades and simplifies the client. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ The people in power will not disappear voluntarily, giving flowers to the cops just isn't going to work. This thinking is fostered by the establishment; they like nothing better than love and non-violence. The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot from a high window. ”

- William S. Burroughs

“ Happiness is a byproduct of function, purpose, and conflict; those who seek happiness for itself seek victory without war. ”

- William S. Burroughs
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