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William S. Burroughs Quotes

William Seward Burroughs II, also known by his pen name William Lee, was an American novelist, poet, essayist, painter and spoken word performer.
(1914 - 1997)

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

A functioning police state needs no police.

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

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.

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.

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

Anything that can be done chemically can be done by other means.

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

Be just and if you can't be just, be arbitrary.

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

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

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

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

How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity.

Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside.

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

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.

In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality.

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.

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

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