101 William S. Burroughs Quotes For Lovers Of All Things Postmodern

William S Burroughs stood for diversity.
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William Seward Burroughs II was a writer, and much unlike his grandfather, inventor William Seward Burroughs I, William was much inclined toward writing.

Briefly known by the pen name William Lee, Burroughs was born on 4 February 1914 into a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri. He was described as "one of the greatest satirical writers since Jonathan Swift", by Jack Kerouac.

William was popular with writers, most notably satirists, across the world, for his unique and immense contribution to literature. His family brought about some major development across different fields in America, with him also being the nephew of American publicity expert Ivy Lee (the man who is known to be the founder of modern public relations).

William S. Burroughs' wrote books with much darker themes and they were usually semi-autobiographical in nature. He was a major influence to and eventually joined the literary movement named the 'Beat Generation', of which his book 'Naked Lunch' was one of the best examples. He, along with other great authors of his time, gave postmodern literature a breath of fresh air and helped it develop greatly in the post-war period. Some of Burroughs' best quotes include, "Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer," and, "Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing". These William S. Burroughs quotes describe his writing fairly well.

As you enjoy these different quotes William S. Burroughs has given the world, do also have a look at our  Allen Ginsberg quotes and [Kerouac quotes].

The Best Ever William S. Burroughs Quotes

Here are the best ever William S Burroughs quotes to get into the mind of the famed satirist.

1. "The simplest questions are the most difficult."

-William S. Burroughs.

2. "What does the money machine eat? It eats youth, spontaneity, life, beauty, and, above all, it eats creativity."

-William S. Burroughs.

3. "Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing."

-William S. Burroughs.

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

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Adding Machine: Selected Essays'.

5. "Desperation is the raw material of drastic change."

-William S. Burroughs.

6. "It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve."

-William S. Burroughs.

7. "Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat – the mark inside."

-William S. Burroughs.

8. "There couldn't be a society of people who didn't dream."

-William S. Burroughs.

9. "A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. A psychotic is a guy who's just found out what's going on."

-William S. Burroughs.

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

-William S. Burroughs.

11. "Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer."

-William S. Burroughs.

12. "There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business."

-William S. Burroughs.

13. "Language is a virus from outer space."

-William S. Burroughs.

14. "Once the breakthrough is made, there is a permanent expansion of awareness."

-William S. Burroughs.

15. "I think anybody incapable of changing his mind is crazy."

-William S. Burroughs.

16. "You see, should I stand in front of a landscape and paint it, I'm completely ignoring the factor of time."

-William S. Burroughs.

17. "Desperation is the raw material of drastic change."

-William S. Burroughs.

18. "Do not try and cheat the muse."

-William S. Burroughs.

19. "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity."

-William S. Burroughs.

20. "One very important aspect of art is that it makes people aware of what they know and don't know they know."

-William S. Burroughs.

Thought-Provoking William S. Burroughs Quotes

Some extremely thought-provoking quotes from the works of William S. Burroughs are found here. These William S Burroughs quotes will certainly make you think!

21. "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.

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. "All abilities are paid for with disabilities."

-William S. Burroughs.

24. "If, after spending time with a person, you feel as though you've lost a quart of plasma, avoid that person in the future."

-William S. Burroughs.

25. "You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative."

-William S. Burroughs.

26. "The best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of time... and you can't see it if you refuse to face the possibility."

-William S. Burroughs.

27. "We must all face the fact that our leaders are certifiably insane or worse."

-William S. Burroughs.

28. "I began to get a feeling... of being the only sane man in a nuthouse. It doesn't make you feel superior but depressed and scared, because there is no one you can contact."

-William S. Burroughs.

29. "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."

-William S. Burroughs.

30. "While I am painting it, it's changing, clouds are changing, all sorts of things. So there's the myth there, of someone creating in a timeless vacuum."

-William S. Burroughs.

31. "Sometimes paranoia's just having all the facts."

-William S. Burroughs.

32. "Many doctors are drawn to this profession because they have an innate deficiency of insight into the motives, feelings, and thoughts of others; a deficiency they hope to remedy by ingesting masses of data."

-William S. Burroughs.

33. "If everyone is to be made responsible for everything they do, you must extend responsibility beyond the level of conscious intention."

-William S. Burroughs.

34. "Love is a haunting melody that I have never mastered, and I fear I never will."

-William S. Burroughs.

35. "Thanks for a country where nobody's allowed to mind their own business."

-William S. Burroughs.

36. "Open your mind and let the pictures out"

-William S. Burroughs.

37. "They have to do all this just in order to scrape by. They're all scratching each other's backs."

-William S. Burroughs.

38. "A consumer society is about simplifying and degrading the consumer as well as the product."

-William S. Burroughs.

39. "Artists to my mind are the real architects of change."

-William S. Burroughs.

40. "If you want to cure something, find out who doesn't get it."

-William S. Burroughs.

William S. Burroughs 'The Cat Inside' Quotes

William S Burroughs was a visual artist who loved art in all forms.

A handful of 'The Cat Inside' quotes from William S. Burroughs' famed novella.

41. "Cats didn't start as mousers. Weasels and snakes and dogs are more efficient as rodent-control agents."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

42. "I postulate that cats started as psychic companions, as Familiars, and have never deviated from this function."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

43. "Cat hate reflects an ugly, stupid, loutish, bigoted spirit. There can be no compromise with this Ugly Spirit."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

44. "Like all pure creatures, cats are practical."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

45. "We are the cats inside. We are the cats who cannot walk alone, and for us, there is only one place."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

46. "The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

47. "Like most qualities, cuteness is delineated by what it isn't."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

48. "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, 'The Cat Inside'.

49. "Elegance, grace, delicacy, beauty, and a lack of self-consciousness: a creature who knows he is cute soon isn't."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

50. "Take care of my babies. Take them with you wherever you go."

-William S. Burroughs, 'The Cat Inside'.

Powerful Quotes By William S. Burroughs

These William S. Burroughs quotes emanate power and confidence, and can inspire someone to tread the right path.

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

-William S. Burroughs.

52. "If everyone is to be made responsible for everything they do, you must extend responsibility beyond the level of conscious intention."

-William S. Burroughs.

53. "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.

54. "You know a real friend? Someone you know will look after your cat after you are gone."

-William S. Burroughs.

55. "Any film stands on its own, apart from whether it's based on a novel."

-William S. Burroughs.

56. "No one owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death."

-William S. Burroughs.

57. "There's no place for impractical dreamers around here."

-William S. Burroughs.

58. "Society is cancerous and bureaucracy is its cancer."

-William S. Burroughs.

59. "Man must get away from verbal forms to attain the consciousness, that which is there to be perceived at hand."

-William S. Burroughs.

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

-William S. Burroughs.

61. "To concern yourself with surface political conflicts is to make the mistake of the bull in the ring, you are charging the cloth."

-William S. Burroughs.

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

-William S. Burroughs.

63. "Life is a cut-up. And to pretend that you write or paint in a timeless vacuum is just simply... not true, not in accord with the facts of human perception."

-William S. Burroughs.

64. "Smash the control images. Smash the control machine."

-William S. Burroughs.

65. "The way to kill a man or a nation is to cut off his dreams."

-William S. Burroughs.

66. "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.

67. "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.

68. "I started to write in about 1950; I was thirty-five at the time; there didn't seem to be any strong motivation."

-William S. Burroughs.

69. "Forward steps are made by giving up old armor because words are built into you."

-William S. Burroughs.

70. "Always remember, there's no point trying to be faithful to the book because film and writing are just two completely different things."

-William S. Burroughs.

Truths Of Life And Lines By William S. Burroughs

Burroughs was involved in the the arts, including music, acting and painting.

William S. Burroughs was as admired for his concepts as much as his books. Here are a few thoughts and William S. Burroughs quotes.

71. "I see no reason why the artistic world can't absolutely merge with Madison Avenue."

-William S. Burroughs.

72. "The country with a low birth rate and low death rate will be hardest hit – and so the poor may indeed inherit the earth... because they're healthier."

-William S. Burroughs.

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

-William S. Burroughs.

74. "Which came first the intestine or the tapeworm?"

-William S. Burroughs.

75. "Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller."

-William S. Burroughs.

76. "The whole point is, I feel the machine should be eliminated. Now that it has served its purpose of alerting us to the dangers of machine control."

-William S. Burroughs.

77. "Some people like neat suburbs. I always am attracted to the rundown and the old and the offbeat."

-William S. Burroughs.

78. "Any unchecked impulse does, within the human body and psyche, lead to the destruction of the organism."

-William S. Burroughs.

79. "Why can't we have advertisements with beautiful words and beautiful images?"

-William S. Burroughs.

80. "It's the time-birth-death gimmick. Can't go on much longer, too many people are wising up."

-William S. Burroughs.

81. "Virtue is simply happiness, and happiness is a by-product of function. You are happy when you are functioning."

-William S. Burroughs.

82. "That their children's children's children might be a different color is something very alarming to them — in short, they are committed to the maintenance of the static image."

-William S. Burroughs.

83. "An addict never stops growing. Stupider."

-William S. Burroughs.

84. "I'm against capital punishment in all forms, and I have written many pamphlets on this subject."

-William S. Burroughs.

85. "Thinking is not enough. There is no final enough of wisdom, experience – anything."

-William S. Burroughs.

86. "I meant that people will take anything that gives them a lift"

-William S. Burroughs.

87. "The world wasn't a more tolerant place when I was a young man. Rather, they simply sidestepped all the issues."

-William S. Burroughs.

88. "They're all completely addicted to promiscuous verbalization."

-William S. Burroughs.

89. "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.

90. "I've seen villages in South America with no police whatever."

-William S. Burroughs.

The Essential Burroughs Quotes Collection

These are the most obscure but essential William S. Burroughs quotes for all.

91. "As soon as you have a problem, it's insoluble."

-William S. Burroughs.

92. "When you cut into the present the future leaks out."

-William S. Burroughs.

93. "The more absolute the need, the more predictable the behavior becomes until it is mathematically certain."

-William S. Burroughs.

94. "How far would people get in physics if discovery was described as disgusting?"

-William S. Burroughs.

95. "I think if a writer is not endeavoring to expand and alter consciousness in himself and in his readers, he is not doing much of anything."

-William S. Burroughs.

96. "I don't think that anything is disgusting per se."

-William S. Burroughs.

97. "...if you build a good name, eventually, that name will be its own currency."

-William S. Burroughs.

98. "Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business."

-William S. Burroughs.

99. "I have no message to give the politicians of the world."

-William S. Burroughs.

100. "No one is ever really alone. You are part of everything alive."

-William S. Burroughs.

101. "When you get to be my age there are more and more people you have known that you miss."

-William S. Burroughs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully curated lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 101 William S. Burroughs quotes, then why not take a look at these [poetry quotes], or [Hemingway love quotes]?

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