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Quotations From WILLIAM BURROUGHS

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  • 1.
    In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality.
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. Queer, ch. 8 (1985).
  • 2.
    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 Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "My Own Business," The Adding Machine (1985).

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  • 3.
    There is the pleasurable orgasm, like a rising sales graph, and there is the unpleasurable orgasm, slumping ominously like the Dow Jones in 1929.
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "My Experiences with Wilhelm Reich's Orgone Box," The Adding Machine (1985).
  • 4.
    Which came first the intestine or the tapeworm?
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. Interview, The South Bank Show, LWT (April 12, 1992).
  • 5.
    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.
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. The Adding Machine, "On Coincidence," (1985).

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  • 6.
    Virtue is simply happiness, and happiness is a by-product of function. You are happy when you are functioning.
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "The Creative Observer," Painting and Guns (1992).

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  • 7.
    Kerouac opened a million coffee bars and sold a million pairs of Levis to both sexes. Woodstock rises from his pages.
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "Remembering Jack Kerouac," The Adding Machine (1985).
  • 8.
    So cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. The Western Lands, ch. 2 (1987).
  • 9.
    After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER."
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "Women: A Biological Mistake?" The Adding Machine (1985).
  • 10.
    A functioning police state needs no police.
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. Dr. Benway, in "Benway," The Naked Lunch (1959).
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