William Faulkner Quotes (188 Quotes)



    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.

    He never denied it. He never did anything. He never acted like either a nigger or a white man. That was it. That was what made the folks so mad.




    That's sad too, people cannot do anything that dreadful they cannot do anything very dreadful at all they cannot even remember tomorrow what seemed dreadful today

    It's because I'm alone.. If I could just feel it, it would be different, because I would not be alone. But if I were not alone, everybody would know it. And he could do so much for me, and then I would not be alone. Then I could be all right alone.

    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.

    He thought that it was loneliness which he was trying to escape and not himself. But the street ran on: catlike, one place was the same as another to him. But in none of them could he be quiet. But the street ran on in its moods and phases, always empty: he might have seen himself as in numberless avatars, in silence, doomed with motion, driven by the courage of flagged and spurred despair; by the despair of courage whose opportunities had to be flagged and spurred.


    Every man has a different idea of what's beautiful, and it's best to take the gesture, the shadow of the branch, and let the mind create the tree

    I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, th.


    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 oclock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago.... William Faulkner, Intruder In The Dust.

    When grown people speak of the innocence of children, they don't 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 yet be old enough to desire the fruits of it ... his ignorance is, he does not know how to commit it.

    You should approach Joyce's Ulysses as the illiterate Baptist preacher approaches the Old Testament: with faith.

    I could just remember how my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.

    It is his the poet's, the writer's privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. 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. See Poets Writers.

    To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow.

    ... no battle is ever won ... 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.

    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.


    The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer 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.

    Facts and truth really don't have much to do with each other.

    Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.

    No man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors.

    Loving all of it even while he had to hate some of it because he knows now that you don't love because you love despite not for the virtues, but despite the faults.

    An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn't know why they choose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why.

    Perhaps they were right in putting love into books... Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.

    I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem is to know where you yourself stand. That is, to have in words what you believe and are acting from.


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