After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it.

— William S. Burroughs

The most unusual William S. Burroughs quotes that will add value to your life

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.


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.


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.


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.


Desperation is the raw material of drastic change.

Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.


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.


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.


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.


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.


There are no innocent bystanders.


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.


About William S. Burroughs

Quotes 335 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

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.


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


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.


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.


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.


Panic is the sudden realization that everything around you is alive.


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.


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.


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.


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


A psychotic is a guy who's just found out what's going on.


There is no line between the 'real world' and 'world of myth and symbol.

' Objects, sensations, hit with the impact of hallucination.


There are no innocent bystanders ... what are they doing there in the first place?


The face of evil is always the face of total need.


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.


Paranoia is just having the right information.


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.


I miss you so much your absence causes me, at times, accute pain.

I don't mean sexually. I mean in connection with my writing.


I don't have any politics. I feel that as soon as politics arises, things are already in a hopeless state of deterioration.


Thanks, for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business.

Thanks, for a nation of finks.


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.


There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business.


Writing prejudicial, off-putting reviews is a precise exercise in applied black magic. The reviewer can draw free-floating disagreeable associations to a book by implying that the book is completely unimportant without saying exactly why, and carefully avoiding any clear images that could capture the reader's full attention.


Artists to my mind are the real architects of change.


in the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents.

nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen


Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas.

Casual curses are the most effective.


If you weren't surprised by your life you wouldn't be alive. Life is surprise.


If after having been exposed to someone's presence you feel as if you've lost a quart of plasma, avoid that presence. You need it like you need pernicious anemia.


Perhaps all pleasure is only relief.


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


The simplest questions are the most difficult.


You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.


Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.


The idea that addiction is somehow a psychological illness is, I think, totally ridiculous. It's as psychological as malaria. It's a matter of exposure. People, generally speaking, will take any intoxicant or any drug that gives them a pleasant effect if it is available to them.


Now Christianity sounded good at first to the naive convert.

Love, peace and charity - what's wrong with that? I'll tell you what's wrong - a series of unprecedented horrors perpetrated by so-called Christians: The Inquisition, the Conquistadores, the American Indian wars, slavery, Hiroshima and the present-day Bible Belt.


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


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.