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William Faulkner (Writer)

Between grief and nothing I will take grief.
William Faulkner grief
It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless...
William Faulkner history
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863...
William Faulkner teen
The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. He must learn them again.
William Faulkner writing
I decline to accept the end of man.
William Faulkner man
The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.
William Faulkner man
Man knows so little about his fellows. In his eyes all men or women act upon what he believes would motivate him if he were mad enough to do what the other man or woman is doing.
William Faulkner women
Poor man. Poor mankind.
William Faulkner man
Even a liar can be scared into telling the truth, same as an honest man can be tortured into telling a lie.
William Faulkner truth
Be scared. You can’t help that. But don’t be afraid. Ain’t nothing in the woods going to hurt you unless you corner it, or it smells that you are afraid. A bear or a deer, too, has got to be scared of a coward the same as a brave man has got to be.
William Faulkner war
It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless, no refuse save the printed books; I wish I had enough sense to see ahead thirty years ago, and like some of the Elizabethans, not signed them. It is my aim, and every effort bent, that the sum and history of my life, which in the same sentence is my obit and epitaph too, shall be them both: He made the books and he died.
William Faulkner life
Mr.says that Communism, the police state, will bury the free ones. He is a smart gentleman, he knows that this is nonsense since freedom, man's dim concept of and belief in the human spirit is the cause of all his troubles in his own country. But if he means that Communism will bury capitalism, he is correct. That funeral will occur about ten minutes after the police bury gambling. Because simple man, the human race, will bury both of them. That will be when we have expended the last grain, dram, and iota of our natural resources. But man himself will not be in that grave. The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next.
William Faulkner freedom
There is something about jumping a horse over a fence, something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it's the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need.
William Faulkner good
When grown people speak of the innocence of children, they dont really know what they mean. Pressed, they will go a step further and say, Well, ignorance then. The child is neither. There is no crime which a boy of eleven had not envisaged long ago. His only innocence is, he may not be old enough to desire the fruits of it, which is not innocence but appetite; his ignorance is, he does not know how to commit it, which is not ignorance but size. But Boon didn't know this. He must seduce me. And he had so little time: only from the time the train left until dark.
William Faulkner time
A gentleman can live through anything.
William Faulkner man
Why that’s a hundred miles away. That’s a long way to go just to eat.
William Faulkner
Some folks wouldn't even speak when they passed me on the street. Then MGM came to town to film , and that made some difference because I'd brought money into Oxford. But it wasn’t until the Nobel Prize that they really thawed out. They couldn’t understand my books, but they could understand thirty thousand dollars.
William Faulkner books
Well, between Scotch and nothin', I suppose I’d take Scotch. It’s the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find.
William Faulkner good
Clocks slay time. Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.
William Faulkner life
Then Ben wailed again, hopeless and prolonged. It was nothing. Just sound. It might have been all time and injustice and sorrow become vocal for an instant by a conjunction of planets.
William Faulkner hope
Dilsey stroked Ben's head, slowly and steadily, smoothing the bang upon his brow. He wailed quietly, unhurriedly. "Hush," Dilsey said. "Hush, now. We be gone in a minute. Hush, now." He wailed quietly and steadily.
William Faulkner tea
When the shadow of the sash appeared in the curtains it was between seven and eight oclock and then I was in time again, hearing the watch. It was Grandfather’s and when Father gave it to me he said I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire; it’s rather excrutiatingly apt that you will use it to gain the reducto absurdum of all human experience which can fit your individual needs no better than it fitted his or his father’s. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.
William Faulkner hope
A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you'd think misfortune would get tired, but then time is your misfortune.
William Faulkner time
Once a bitch always a bitch, what I say.
William Faulkner
When people act like niggers, no matter who they are the only thing to do is treat them like a nigger.
William Faulkner people
Women do have an affinity for evil, for believing that no woman is to be trusted, but that some men are too innocent to protect themselves.
William Faulkner men
He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn't need a word for that anymore than for pride or fear.
William Faulkner fear
It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That's how the world is going to end.
William Faulkner people
Sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words.
William Faulkner love
I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind — and that of the minds who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.
William Faulkner death
My mother is a fish.
William Faulkner mother
People to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.
William Faulkner words
Life was created in the valleys. It blew up onto the hills on the old terrors, the old lusts, the old despairs. That's why you must walk up the hills so you can ride down.
William Faulkner despair
Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.
William Faulkner time
Short story found in Collected Stories (1950)
William Faulkner story
For the holy are susceptible to to evil, even as you and I, signori; they too are helpless before sin without God's aid… and the holy can be fooled by sin as quickly as you or I, signori. Quicker, because they are holy.
William Faulkner evil
If I could believe that I shall see and touch him again, I shall not have lost him. And if I have not lost him, I shall never have had a son.
William Faulkner believe
Who is he who will affirm that there must be a web of flesh and bone to hold the shape of love?
William Faulkner love
We never thought, sitting in my office on those afternoons, discussingand , that we would ever be brought to this, did we? You, the atheist whom the mere sight of a church spire on the sky could enrage; and I who have never been able to divorce myself from reason enough even to accept your pleasant and labor-saving theory of .
William Faulkner self
Istelling me that for twenty years I have leaned upon a reed no stronger than myself?
William Faulkner self
It is not proof that I sought. I, of all men, know that proof is but ainvented by man to justify to himself and his fellows his own crass lust and folly.
William Faulkner men
You see, if I could believe that I shall see and touch him again, I shall not have lost him. And if I have not lost him, I shall never have had a son. Because I am I through bereavement and because of it. I do not know what I was nor what I shall be. But because of death, I know that I am. And that is all the immortality of which intellect is capable and flesh should desire. Anything else is for peasants, clods, who could never have loved a son well enough to have lost him.
William Faulkner love
“but one mistake; that alertness for measuring and weighing event against eventuality, circumstance against human nature, his own fallible judgement and mortal clay against not only human but natural forces, choosing and discarding, compromising with his dream and his ambition like you must with the horse which you take across country, over timber, which you control only through your ability to keep the animal from realising that actually you cannot, that actually it is the stronger”(41).
William Faulkner nature
The past is never dead. It's not even past.
William Faulkner past
So vast, so limitless in capacity is man's imagination to disperse and burn away the rubble-dross of fact and probability, leaving only truth and dream.
William Faulkner truth
Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it.
William Faulkner gratitude
Poets are almost always wrong about facts. That's because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth...
William Faulkner truth
This delta, he thought: This Delta. This land which man has deswamped and denuded and derivered in two generations so that white men can own plantations and commute every night to Memphis and black men own plantations and ride in jim crow cars to Chicago to live in millionaires’ mansions on Lakeshore Drive, where white men rent farms and live like niggers and niggers crop on shares and live like animals, where cotton is planted and grows man-tall in the very cracks of the sidewalks, and ursury and mortgage and bankcruptcy and measureless wealth, Chinese and African and Aryan and Jew, all breed and spawn together until no man has time to say which is which nor cares…. No wonder the ruined woods I used to know don’t cry for retribution! He thought: The people who have destroyed it will accomplish its revenge.
William Faulkner time
The poets are wrong of course. … But then poets are almost always wrong about facts. That's because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth: which is why the truth they speak is so true that even those who hate poets by simple and natural instinct are exalted and terrified by it.
William Faulkner truth
with Jean Stein; later published in Writers at Work : The Paris Review Interviews (1958), First Series, edited by
William Faulkner wit
All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.
William Faulkner dreams
If I were reincarnated, I’d want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything.
William Faulkner hate
No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by that word...
William Faulkner wit
— I read that every year, as some do the Bible.
William Faulkner read
Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling "" on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.
William Faulkner art
If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, , , all of us. Proof of that is that there are about three candidates for the authorship ofplays. But what is important isand , not who wrote them, but that somebody did. The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, ,have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn’t have needed anyone since.
William Faulkner art
I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry
William Faulkner poetry
Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.
William Faulkner art
The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much that he can't get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the “” is worth any number of old ladies.
William Faulkner happiness
Art is not concerned with environment either; it doesn't care where it is … the best job that was ever offered to me was to become a landlord in a brothel. In my opinion it’s the perfect milieu for an artist to work in.
William Faulkner art
My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
William Faulkner food
Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.
William Faulkner writing
No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by that word. It is every individual’s individual code of behavior by means of which he makes himself a better human being than his nature wants to be, if he followed his nature only. Whatever its symbol — cross or crescent or whatever — that symbol is man’s reminder of his duty inside the human race. Its various allegories are the charts against which he measures himself and learns to know what he is. It cannot teach a man to be good as the textbook teaches him mathematics. It shows him how to discover himself, evolve for himself a moral codes and standard within his capacities and aspirations, by giving him a matchless example of suffering and sacrifice and the promise of hope.
William Faulkner hope
There were many things I could do for two or three days and earn enough money to live on for the rest of the month. By temperament I’m a vagabond and a tramp. I don’t want money badly enough to work for it. In my opinion it’s a shame that there is so much work in the world. One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours — all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.
William Faulkner love
The two great men in my time wereand . You should approach Joyce'sas the illiterate Baptist preacher approaches the Old Testament: with faith.
William Faulkner faith
The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews.
William Faulkner time
Life is motion, and motion is concerned with what makes man move — which is ambition, power, pleasure. What time a man can devote to morality, he must take by force from the motion of which he is a part. He is compelled to make choices between good and evil sooner or later, because moral conscience demands that from him in order that he can live with himself tomorrow. His moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream.
William Faulkner god
The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling "" on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.
William Faulkner life
People between twenty and forty are not sympathetic. The child has the capacity to do but it can’t know. It only knows when it is no longer able to do — after forty. Between twenty and forty the will of the child to do gets stronger, more dangerous, but it has not begun to learn to know yet. Since his capacity to do is forced into channels of evil through environment and pressures, man is strong before he is moral. The world’s anguish is caused by people between twenty and forty.
William Faulkner people
If we Americans are to survive it will have to be because we choose and elect and defend to be first of all Americans; to present to the world one homogeneous and unbroken front, whether of white Americans or black ones or purple or blue or green. Maybe the purpose of this sorry and tragic error committed in my native Mississippi by two white adults on an afflicted Negro child is to prove to us whether or not we deserve to survive. Because if we in America have reached that point in our desperate culture when we must murder children, no matter for what reason or what color, we don’t deserve to survive, and probably won’t.
William Faulkner children
Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing as was — only is. If was existed, there would be no grief or sorrow. I like to think of the world I created as being a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as that keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse.
William Faulkner people
Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely.
William Faulkner time
If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, all of us.
William Faulkner sky
This Delta, he thought: This Delta. This land which man has deswamped and denuded and derivered in two generations so that white men can own plantations and commute every night to Memphis and black men own plantations and ride in jim crow cars to Chicago to live in millionaires’ mansions on Lakeshore Drive, where white men rent farms and live like niggers and niggers crop on shares and live like animals, where cotton is planted and grows man-tall in the very cracks of the sidewalks, and usury and mortgage and bankruptcy and measureless wealth, Chinese and African and Aryan and Jew, all breed and spawn together until no man has time to say which is which nor cares. No wonder the ruined woods I used to know don’t cry for retribution! he thought: The people who have destroyed it will accomplish its revenge.Delta Autumn p. 347
William Faulkner time
the ledgers in which McCaslin recorded the slow outward trickle of food and supplies and equipment which returned each fall as cotton made and ginned and sold two threads frail as truth and impalpable as equators yet cable-strong to bind for life them who made the cotton to the land their sweat fell on,The Bear section 4 p. 245, repeated with minimal change on p. 281
William Faulkner life

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