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William Burroughs

(5 February 1914 – 2 August 1997)

William Burroughs
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William Seward Burroughs II (pron.: /ˈbʌroʊz/; also known by his pen name William Lee; was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century." His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature.

Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Hemingway was a prisoner of his style. No one can talk like the characters in Hemingway except the characters in Hemingway. His style in the wildest sense finally killed him.''
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "A Word to the Wise Guy," The Adding Machine (1985).
  • ''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 Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "A Word to the Wise Guy," The Adding Machine (1985).
  • I think that Richard Nixon will go down in history as a true folk hero, who struck a vital blow to the whole diseased concept of the revered image and gave the American virtue of irreverence and skept...
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "A Word to the Wise Guy," The Adding Machine (1985).
  • 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 s...
    William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "Civilian Defense," The Adding Machine (1985).
  • ''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 Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author. "Civilian Defense," The Adding Machine (1985).
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