William Faulkner Quotes (188 Quotes)


    It is assumed that anyone who makes a million dollars has a unique gift, though he might have made it off some useless gadget.

    It wasn't until the Nobel Prize that they really thawed out. They couldn't understand my books, but they could understand 30,000.

    Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it.

    Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.

    I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work -- a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust.


    He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary

    The scattered tea goes with the leaves and every day a sunset dies.

    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.


    Well, between Scotch and nothin', I suppose I'd take Scotch. It's the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find.

    If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate: The "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is worth any number of old ladies.

    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. . . . 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.


    The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.

    The writer in America isn't part of the culture of this country. He's like a fine dog. People like him around, but he's of no use. . . .

    I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better.

    The work of the artist is to lift up peoples hearts and help them endure

    . . . and that 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 forgot the words . . .

    I'm bad and I'm going to hell, and I don't care. I'd rather be in hell than anywhere where you are.

    In my time I have seen truth that was anything under the sun but just, and I have seen justice using tools and instruments I wouldn't want to touch with a 10-foot fence rail.

    Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.

    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.

    A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction.



    Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.

    Man performs and engenders so much more than he can or should have to bear. That's how he finds that he can bear anything.

    Purity is a negative state and therefore contrary to nature.

    I don't think anybody can teach anybody anything. I think that you learn it, but the young writer that is as I say demon-driven and wants to learn and has got to write, he don't know why, he will learn from almost any source that he finds. He will learn from older people who are not writers, he will learn from writers, but he learns it -- you can't teach it.

    A hack writer who would not have been considered a fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure-fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.


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