Paul Sempschi wrote:
Well Bill attributes the quote "nothing's true, everything's permitted" to Hassan i Sabbah and I think its first mentioned at the beginning of "Nova Express", though he did do an indepth study of what this phrase meant in "Cities of the Red Night".
Yeah, I was gonna say he said he picked it up from something ol Hassan wrote.
The phrase could be seen as a variant of other famous declarations.
Frederick Nietzsche said something like "God Is Dead, our science has killed him".
Fyodor Dostoevsky said "If God is dead, there is no meaning in the world".
And Walter Kaufmann actually uses the exact same phrase.."Nothing is true-
everything is permitted" in his introduction to A Nietzsche Reader
was published in 1977.....
"The corollary to 'nothing is true' is 'everything is permitted', and in describing this
state of things Nietzsche becomes the 'prophet of great wars' and herald of
convulsions and disasters: his prognostications of decline, of a collapse of
morale through a consciousness of purposelessness, also belong here."
I've always wondered why Burroughs seldomly mentions Nietzsche, who he had
more in common than others, both psychologically and philosophically. If my
memory is correct, he does mention him in the book of letters at least once
but never in any way analytically.