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William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” Quotes (32 Quotes)


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  • I'd have wasted a lot of time and trouble before I learned that the best way to take all people, black or white, is to take them for what they think they are, then leave them alone.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • Where the shadow of the bridge fell I could see down for a long way, but not as far as the bottom. When you leave a leaf in water a long time after awhile the tissue will be gone and the delicate fibres waving slow as the motion of sleep. They don't touch one another, no matter how knotted up they once were, no matter how close they lay once to the bones.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • 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, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • It always takes a man that never made much at any thing to tell you how to run your business, though. Like these college professors without a whole pair of socks to his name, telling you how to make a million in ten years, and a woman that couldn't even get a husband can always tell you how to raise a family.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • A pair of jaybirds came up from nowhere, whirled up on the blast like gaudy scraps of cloth or paper and lodged in the mulberries, where they swung in raucous tilt and recover, screaming into the wind that ripped their harsh cries onward and away like scraps of paper or of cloth in turn.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")


  • It's always the idle habits you acquire which you will regret. Father said that. That Christ was not crucified: he was worn away by a minute clicking of little wheels. That had no sister.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • And I will look down and see my murmuring bones and the deep water like wind, like a roof of wind, and after a long time they cannot distinguish even bones upon the lonely and inviolate sand.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • It's not when you realise that nothing can help you - religion, pride, anything - it's when you realise that you don't need any aid.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • And so I told myself to take that one. Because Father said clocks slay time. He said time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. The hands were extended, slightly off the horizontal at a faint angle, like a gull tilting into the wind.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • Luster returned, wearing a stiff new straw hat with a colored band and carrying a cloth cap. The hat seemed to isolate Luster's skull, in the beholder's eye as a spotlight would, in all its individual planes and angles. So peculiarly individual was its shape that at first glance the hat appeared to be on the head of someone standing immediately behind Luster.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • Bad health is the primary reason for all life. Created by disease, within putrefaction, into decay
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • Once a bitch always a bitch, what I say.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • Caddy got the box and set it on the floor and opened it. It was full of stars. When I was still, they were still. When I moved, they glinted and sparkled. I hushed.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • Only Southerners have taken horsewhips and pistols to editors about the treatment or maltreatment of their manuscript. This--the actual pistols--was in the old days, of course, we no longer succumb to the impulse. But it is still there, within us.
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")

  • Did you ever have a sister? did you?
    (William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury")


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