William Faulkner, fully William Cuthbert Faulkner

William
Faulkner, fully William Cuthbert Faulkner
1897
1962

American Novelist, Short-Story Writer Awarded Nobel Prize

Author Quotes

When it's a matter of not-do, I reckon a man can trust himself for advice. But when it comes to a matter of doing, I reckon a fellow had better listen to all the advice he can get.

Though children can accept adults as adults, adults can never accept children as anything but adults too.

We have all heard what we wanted to hear! Truth that sounds right to our ears!

When my horse is running good, I don't stop to give him sugar.

Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. They were coming toward where the flag was and I went along the fence. Luster was hunting in the grass by the flower tree. They took the flag out, and they were hitting. Then they put the flag back and they went to the table, and he hit and the other hit. Then they went on, and I went along the fence. Luster came away from the flower tree and we went along the fence and they stopped and we stopped and I looked through the fence while Luster was hunting in the grass.

We have to start teaching ourselves not to be afraid

When something is new and hard and bright, there ought to be something a little better for it than just being safe, since the safe things are just the things that folks have been doing so long they have worn the edges off and there's nothing to the doing of them that leaves a man to say, That was not done before and it cannot be done again.

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.

When the switch fell I could feel it upon my flesh; when it welted and ridged it was my blood that ran, and I would think with each blow of the switch: Now you are aware of me! Now I am something in your secret and selfish life, who have marked your blood with my own for ever and ever.

There is that might-have-been which is the single rock we cling to above the maelstrom of unbearable reality.

To believe in 'me,' in 'I,' rather than 'we,' to be oneself, to resist that pressure to relinquish individuality... Maybe that's all anyone has to do to combat Communism.

We shall not kill and maybe next time we even won't.

When you have plenty of good strong hating you don't need hope because the hating will be enough to nourish you.

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.

To me, all human behavior is unpredictable and, considering man's frailty... and... the ramshackle universe he functions in, it's... all irrational.

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

When you opened the door a bell tinkled, but just once, high and clear and small in the neat obscurity above the door, as though it were gauged and tempered to make that single clear small sound so as not to wear the bell out nor to require the expenditure of too much silence in restoring it when the door opened upon the recent warm scent of baking; a little dirty child with eyes like a toy bear's and two patent-leather pigtails.

They all talked at once, their voices insistent and contradictory and impatient, making of unreality a possibility, then a probability, then an incontrovertible fact, as people will when their desires become words.

To the man grown the long crowded mile of his boyhood becomes less than the throw of a stone.

Well, it's like this. I ain't got to but I can't help it.

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 a while 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.

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