Tag Archives: william s burroughs

Those who smoke opium need to periodically smoke again.

John Davis’ book China contains a hitherto unpublished Edict on opium from 1832:

If they do not do so, their limbs become weak and their eyes and noses discharge fluid. They are unfit for any activity. But once they take a few puffs they are restored. Thus opium becomes the basis of life to the smoker.

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“Junk turns the user into a plant. Plants do not feel pain since pain has no function in a stationary organism. Junk is a pain killer. A plant has no libido in the human or animal sense. Junk replaces the sex drive. Seeding is the sex of the plant and the function of opium is to delay seeding.
Perhaps the intense discomfort of withdrawal is the transition from plant back to animal, from a painless, sexless, timeless state back to sex and pain and time, from death back to life.”

― William S. Burroughs, Junky

A drug is that substance which, when injected into a rat, will produce a scientific report

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“The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict?
The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict.
The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along taking shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict. (Junky, Prologue, p. xxxviii)”
― William S. Burroughs, Junky

“Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.”

http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/quotes/quotes-life.htm

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“It is to be remembered that all art is magical in origin – music,
sculpture, writing, painting – and by magical I mean intended to
produce very definite results. Paintings were originally formulae
to make what is painted happen. Art is not an end in itself, any
more than Einstein’s matter-into-energy formulae is an end in itself.
Like all formulae, art was originally FUNCTIONAL, intended to make
things happen, the way an atom bomb happens from Einstein’s
formulae.”

― William S. Burroughs