William S. Burroughs Quotes (58 Quotes)


    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.


    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 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.

    There is a Senate and a Congress who carry on endless sessions discussing garbage disposal and outhouse inspection, the only two questions over which they have jurisdiction.




    I know this one pusher walks around humming a tune and everybody he passes takes it up. He is so grey and spectral and anonymous they don't see him and think it is their own mind humming the tune.

    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself. Of course he wants care and shelter. You don't buy love for nothing.

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

    Admittedly, a homosexual can be conditioned to react sexually to a woman, or to an old boot for that matter. In fact, both homo - and heterosexual experimental subjects have been conditioned to react sexually to an old boot, and you can save a lot of money that way.

    Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.



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


    The youth rebellion 1968 is a worldwide phenomenon that has not been seen before in history. I do not believe they will calm down ad be ad execs at thirty as the Establishment would like us to believe.

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

    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 whisky, may be a fact but it is not a truth.


    America is not a young land it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting.

    Humility is indeed beatness, a compulsory virtue that no one exhibits unless he has to.

    The way to kill a man or a nation is to cut off his dreams, the way the whites are taking care of the Indians: killing their dreams, their magic, their familiar spirits.

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

    Our national drug is alcohol. We tend to regard the use any other drug with special horror.

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


    More William S. Burroughs Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Facts - Space - Dreams - Mind - Man - People - Pleasure - Time - America - Good & Evil - Cats - Society & Civilization - Product - Change - Art - Purposes - Alcohol - Writing - Conformity - View All William S. Burroughs Quotations

    More William S. Burroughs Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Naked Lunch

    Related Authors


    William Arthur Ward - Milan Kundera - Joseph Addison - Herbert Kaufman - George Axelrod - Dr. Seuss - Charles Caleb Colton - Catherine Crowe - Bill Bryson - Antiphanes


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