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William S. Burroughs Quotes

The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.
William S. Burroughs
Education, Knowledge, Facts

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
William S. Burroughs
Learning, Mind, Learn

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.’
William S. Burroughs
Space, Planet, Manager

Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.
William S. Burroughs
Communication, Silence

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
Change, Hope, Leave

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
Society, Away, Sure

In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality.
William S. Burroughs
Sad, Deep, Sadness

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

Visual art and writing don’t exist on an aesthetic hierarchy that positions one above the other, because each is capable of things the other can’t do at all. Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.
William S. Burroughs
Art, Picture, Each

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
Acting, Point, Space

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

Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts.
William S. Burroughs
Having, Facts, Paranoia

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
Talk, Necessary, Buy

Changes… can only be effected by alterations in the original. The only thing not prerecorded in a prerecorded universe are the prerecordings themselves. The copies can only repeat themselves word for word. A virus is a copy. You can pretty it up, cut it up, scramble it – it will reassemble in the same form.
William S. Burroughs
Pretty, Themselves, Word

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
Business, Mind, Trouble

Our national drug is alcohol. We tend to regard the use any other drug with special horror.
William S. Burroughs
Special, Use, Alcohol

The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself. Of course he wants care and shelter. You don’t buy love for nothing.
William S. Burroughs
Pet, Love, Care

Nothing is true, everything is permitted.
William S. Burroughs
True, Permitted

My relationships with my cats has saved me from a deadly, pervasive ignorance.
William S. Burroughs
Ignorance, Cats, Deadly

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

If everyone is to be made responsible for everything they do, you must extend responsibility beyond the level of conscious intention.
William S. Burroughs
Everyone, Beyond, Level

I see no reason why the artistic world can’t absolutely merge with Madison Avenue. Pop art is a move in that direction. Why can’t we have advertisements with beautiful words and beautiful images?
William S. Burroughs
Art, Beautiful, Words

How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity.
William S. Burroughs
Hate, Conformity, Dedicated

You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence.
William S. Burroughs
Religion, Alone, Learn

The purpose of technology is not to confuse the brain but to serve the body.
William S. Burroughs
Technology, Brain, Body

Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative.
William S. Burroughs
Knowledge, Relative

Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller.
William S. Burroughs
Love, Natural

It is indeed difficult to make a living as a writer, and my advice to anyone contemplating a literary career is to have some other trade.
William S. Burroughs
Living, Difficult, Career

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.
William S. Burroughs
Dreams, Care, Nation

An addict never stops growing. Stupider.
William S. Burroughs
Growing, Stops, Addict

Some people like neat suburbs. I always am attracted to the rundown and the old and the offbeat.
William S. Burroughs
Old, Attracted, Neat

The world wasn’t a more tolerant place when I was a young man. Rather, they simply sidestepped all the issues.
William S. Burroughs
Young, Rather, Simply

No body of knowledge needs an organizational policy. Organizational policy can only impede the advancement of knowledge. There is a basic incompatibility between any organization and freedom of thought.
William S. Burroughs
Freedom, Knowledge, Between

Most people don’t see what’s going on around them. That’s my principal message to writers: ‘For God’s sake, keep your eyes open. Notice what’s going on around you.’
William S. Burroughs
God, Keep, Eyes

Most serious writers refuse to make themselves available to the things that technology is doing. I’ve never been able to understand this sort of fear.
William S. Burroughs
Fear, Technology, Understand

Speaking for myself, art differs from writing in that I never know what I’m going to paint until I paint it, so it’s almost like automatic writing. A writer, on the other hand, can’t help but know what he’s going to write, because the activity demands a degree of premeditation.
William S. Burroughs
Art, Help, Until

The only possible ethic is to do what one wants to do.
William S. Burroughs
Possible, Wants, Ethic

Scientology is a model control system, a state in fact with its own courts, police, rewards and penalties.
William S. Burroughs
Fact, Control, State

Gentle reader, the Fountain of Youth is radioactive, and those who imbibe its poisonous heavy waters will suffer the hideous fate of decaying metal. Yet almost without exception, the wretched idiot inhabitants of our benighted planet would gulp down this radioactive excrement if it were offered.
William S. Burroughs
Almost, Youth, Idiot

Language is a virus from outer space.
William S. Burroughs
Communication, Language, Space

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
Beautiful, Eyes, Hair

I am getting so far out one day I won’t come back at all.
William S. Burroughs
Far, Getting

Perhaps all pleasure is only relief.
William S. Burroughs
Pleasure, Perhaps, Relief

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
Science, Travel, State

Which came first the intestine or the tapeworm?
William S. Burroughs
Came, Intestine

Be just and if you can’t be just, be arbitrary.
William S. Burroughs
Arbitrary

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

Thinking is not enough. There is no final enough of wisdom, experience – any… thing.
William S. Burroughs
Wisdom, Experience, Enough

I started to write in about 1950; I was thirty-five at the time; there didn’t seem to be any strong motivation. I simply was endeavoring to put down in a more or less straightforward journalistic style something about my experiences with addiction and addicts.
William S. Burroughs
Time, Strong, Less

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.
William S. Burroughs
Time, Work, Art

A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.
William S. Burroughs
Knows, Paranoid

Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.
William S. Burroughs
Acting, Himself, Inside

A functioning police state needs no police.
William S. Burroughs
State, Needs, Police

There couldn’t be a society of people who didn’t dream. They’d be dead in two weeks.
William S. Burroughs
Society, Dream, Dead

The face of evil is always the face of total need.
William S. Burroughs
Evil, Face, Total

Anything that can be done chemically can be done by other means.
William S. Burroughs
Means

Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside.
William S. Burroughs
Cannot, Inside, Beat

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.
William S. Burroughs
Money, Woman, Old

Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas. Casual curses are the most effective.
William S. Burroughs
Black, Magic, Effective

You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.
William S. Burroughs
Good, Fake, Quality

No one owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.
William S. Burroughs
Life, Death, Anyone

Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.
William S. Burroughs
Pet, Cats, Pure

Smash the control images. Smash the control machine.
William S. Burroughs
Control, Machine, Images

alex 0 Added 4 years ago

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