William Faulkner, fully William Cuthbert Faulkner

William
Faulkner, fully William Cuthbert Faulkner
1897
1962

American Novelist, Short-Story Writer Awarded Nobel Prize

Author Quotes

You intend to kiss me and yet you are going to all this damn trouble about it.

You men, she says. You durn 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.

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

You tell 'em, big boy; treat 'em rough.

Younger citizens of the town do not know him at all save as a tall, apparently strong and healthy man who loafs in a brooding, saturnine fashion wherever he will be allowed, never exactly accepted by any group.

Your illusions are a part of you like your bones and flesh and memory.

You have to write badly in order to write well.

You get born and you try this and you don't know why only you keep on trying and you are born at the same time with a lot of other people, all mixed up with them, like trying to, having to, move your arms and legs with strings only the same strings are hitched to all the other arms and legs and the others all trying they don't know why either except that the strings are all in one another's way like five or six people all trying to make a rug on the same loom only each one wants to weave his own pattern into the rug; and it can't matter, you know that, or the Ones that set up the loom would have arranged things a little better, and yet it must matter because you keep on trying or having to keep on trying and then all of a sudden it's all over and all you have left is a block of stone with scratches on it provided there was someone to remember to have the marble scratched and set up or had time to, and it rains on it and the sun shines on it and after a while they don't even remember the name and what the scratchers were trying to tell, and it doesn't matter.

You don't dare think whole even to yourself the entirety of a dear hope or wish let alone a desperate one else you yourself have doomed it.

You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.

Writing is one-third imagination, one-third experience, and one-third observation.

Yes sir. You can be more careless, you can put more trash in [a novel] and be excused for it. In a short story that's next to the poem, almost every word has got to be almost exactly right. In the novel you can be careless but in the short story you can't. I mean by that the good short stories like Chekhov wrote. That's why I rate that second—it's because it demands a nearer absolute exactitude. You have less room to be slovenly and careless. There's less room in it for trash.

You can’t beat women anyhow and that if you are wise or dislike trouble and uproar you don’t even try to.

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.

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.

Women will show pride and honor about almost anything except love.

Women, shit, the tall convict said.

Women... to them any wedding is better than no wedding and a big wedding with a villain preferable to a small one with a saint.

Wonder. Go on and wonder.

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.

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.

When the shadow of the sash appeared in the curtains it was between seven and eight o’clock 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 excruciatingly 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.

Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.

We never thought, sitting in my office on those afternoons, discussing Voltaire and Ingersoll, 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 nihilism.

Author Picture
First Name
William
Last Name
Faulkner, fully William Cuthbert Faulkner
Birth Date
1897
Death Date
1962
Bio

American Novelist, Short-Story Writer Awarded Nobel Prize