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William S. Burroughs Quotes

American novelist, Birth: 5-2-1914, Death: 2-8-1997 William S. Burroughs Quotes
1.
We must all face the fact that our leaders are certifiably insane or worse
William S. Burroughs

2.
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.'
William S. Burroughs

An extraterrestrial voyager surveying Earth would likely be eager to demand an audience with the chief executive.
3.
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it.
William S. Burroughs

After a rampage of gun violence, they always seek to confiscate weapons from those who were not involved.
4.
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
William S. Burroughs

Unburden your thoughts and wait for the response.
5.
Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don't make compromises. Don't worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work and make the right choices and protect your work. And if you can build a good name, eventually, that name will be its own currency.
William S. Burroughs

Similar Authors: Mark Twain C. S. Lewis Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Haruki Murakami Ayn Rand Charles Dickens George Eliot Albert Camus Kurt Vonnegut Victor Hugo Chuck Palahniuk Margaret Atwood Virginia Woolf Ernest Hemingway George R. R. Martin
6.
God save the Queen and a fascist regime … a flabby toothless fascism, to be sure. Never go too far in any direction, is the basic law on which Limey-Land is built. The Queen stabilizes the whole sinking shithouse and keeps a small elite of wealth and privilege on top. The English have gone soft in the outhouse. England is like some stricken beast too stupid to know it is dead. Ingloriously foundering in its own waste products, the backlash and bad karma of empire
William S. Burroughs

7.
What does the money machine eat? It eats youth, spontaneity, life, beauty, and, above all, it eats creativity. It eats quality and sh*ts quantity.
William S. Burroughs

The financial system devours youthfulness, liveliness, and loveliness, but mostly it consumes ingenuity. In return, it delivers sheer numbers with no regard for excellence.
8.
I am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy Americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. My affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over Hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits.
William S. Burroughs

Quote Topics by William S. Burroughs: People Thinking Writing Men Cat Book Dream War Mind Giving Real Art Needs Cutting Long World Drug Mean Pain Moving Believe Doe Facts Addiction Junk Color Hate May Way Order
9.
I think anybody incapable of changing his mind is crazy.
William S. Burroughs

10.
If you are asking me what the individual can do right now, in a political sense, I'd have to say he can't do all that much. Speaking for myself, I am more concerned with the transformation of the individual, which to me is much more important than the so-called political revolution.
William S. Burroughs

11.
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.
William S. Burroughs

12.
The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself.
William S. Burroughs

13.
Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
William S. Burroughs

14.
Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief…. Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l’originalité, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le vol-pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.
William S. Burroughs

15.
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

16.
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

17.
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.
William S. Burroughs

18.
Which came first the intestine or the tapeworm?
William S. Burroughs

19.
A cat's rage is beautiful, burning with pure cat flame, all its hair standing up and crackling blue sparks, eyes blazing and sputtering.
William S. Burroughs

20.
In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen. The dogma of science is that the will cannot possibly affect external forces, and I think that’s just ridiculous. It’s as bad as the church. My viewpoint is the exact contrary of the scientific viewpoint. I believe that if you run into somebody in the street it’s for a reason.
William S. Burroughs

21.
I prefer cats to people, for the most part. Most people aren't cute at all, and if they are cute they very rapidly outgrow it.
William S. Burroughs

22.
I don't care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it.
William S. Burroughs

23.
America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.
William S. Burroughs

24.
There are no innocent bystanders.
William S. Burroughs

25.
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 nonviolence. The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot from a high window.
William S. Burroughs

26.
In the U.S., you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.
William S. Burroughs

27.
In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas, a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed.
William S. Burroughs

28.
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

29.
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
William S. Burroughs

30.
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

31.
The idea that anyone can use drugs and escape a horrible fate is anathema to these idiots. I predict in the near future right-wingers will use drug hysteria as a pretext to set up an international police apparatus.
William S. Burroughs

32.
As a young child I wanted to be a writer because writers were rich and famous. They lounged around Singapore and Rangoon smoking opium in a yellow pongee silk suit. They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful native boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly caressing a pet gazelle.
William S. Burroughs

33.
The hallucinogens produce visionary states, sort of, but morphine and its derivatives decrease awareness of inner processes, thoughts and feelings. They are pain killers; pure and simple. They are absolutely contraindicated for creative work, and I include in the lot alcohol, morphine, barbiturates, tranquilizers the whole spectrum of sedative drugs.
William S. Burroughs

34.
Panic is the sudden realization that everything around you is alive.
William S. Burroughs

35.
It is to be remembered that all art is magical in origin - music, sculpture, writing, painting - and by magical I mean intended to produce very definite results. Paintings were originally formulae to make what is painted happen. Art is not an end in itself, any more than Einstein's matter-into-energy formulae is an end in itself. Like all formulae, art was originally FUNCTIONAL, intended to make things happen, the way an atom bomb happens from Einstein's formulae.
William S. Burroughs

36.
If all pleasure is relief from tension, junk affords relief from the whole life process, in disconnecting the hypothalamus, which is the center of psychic energy and libido.
William S. Burroughs

37.
A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on.
William S. Burroughs

38.
I'm creating an imaginary — it's always imaginary — world in which I would like to live.
William S. Burroughs

39.
Open your mind and let the pictures out
William S. Burroughs

40.
Americans have a special horror of giving up control, of letting things happen in their own way without interference.
William S. Burroughs

41.
How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity.
William S. Burroughs

42.
To concern yourself with surface political conflicts is to make the mistake of the bull in the ring, you are charging the cloth. That is what politics is for, to teach you the cloth. Just as the bullfighter teaches the bull, teaches him to follow, obey the cloth.
William S. Burroughs

43.
When you cut into the present the future leaks out.
William S. Burroughs

44.
I bear my burden proudly for all to see, to conquer prejudice and ignorance and hate with knowledge and sincerity and love. Whenever you are threatened by a hostile presence, you emit a thick cloud of love like an octopus squirts out ink.
William S. Burroughs

45.
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

46.
I am getting so far out one day I won't come back at all.
William S. Burroughs

47.
There is no line between the 'real world' and 'world of myth and symbol.' Objects, sensations, hit with the impact of hallucination.
William S. Burroughs

48.
Tangier is one of the few places left in the world where, so long as you don't proceed to robbery, violence, or some form of crude, antisocial behavior, you can do exactly what you want.
William S. Burroughs

49.
Political conflicts are merely surface manifestations. If conflicts arise you may be sure that certain powers intend to keep this conflict under operation since they hope to profit from the situation.
William S. Burroughs

50.
Cheat your landlord if you can -- and must -- but do not try to shortchange the Muse.
William S. Burroughs