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The Book of Famous Quotes: The Complete Collection

 :: 1914-1997, American Writer

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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 - [Sexuality]

 

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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 - [Space]

 

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This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Universe]

 

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Virtue is simply happiness, and happiness is a by-product of function. You are happy when you are functioning.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Virtue]

 

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Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it ''creative observation.'' Creative viewing.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Perception]

 

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No atomic physicist has to worry, people will always want to kill other people on a mass scale. Sure, he's got the fridge full of sausages and spring water.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Physics]

 

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A functioning police state needs no police.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Police]

 

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They tend to be suspicious, bristly, paranoid-type people with huge egos they push around like some elephantiasis victim with his distended testicles in a wheelbarrow terrified no doubt that some skulking ingrate of a clone student will sneak into his very brain and steal his genius work.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Science and Scientists]

 

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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 - [Intervention]

 

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Language is a virus from outer space.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Language]

 

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

 

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Anything that can be done chemically can be done by other means.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Methods]

 

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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.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Nonviolence]

 

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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 S. Burroughs - [Orgasm]

 

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I think the ideal situation for a family is to be completely incestuous.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Family]

 

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Intelligence and war are games, perhaps the only meaningful games left. If any player becomes too proficient, the game is threatened with termination.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Games]

 

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I think there are innumerable gods. What we on earth call God is a little tribal God who has made an awful mess. Certainly forces operating through human consciousness control events.
~ William S. Burroughs - [God]

 

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In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Grief]

 

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Humility is indeed beatness, a compulsory virtue that no one exhibits unless he has to.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Humility]

 

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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.
~ William S. Burroughs - [Insects]

 

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