William Faulkner, fully William Cuthbert Faulkner

William
Faulkner, fully William Cuthbert Faulkner
1897
1962

American Novelist, Short-Story Writer Awarded Nobel Prize

Author Quotes

The artist is still a little like the old court jester. He's supposed to speak his vicious paradoxes with some sense in them, but he isn't part of whatever the fabric is that makes a nation.

The next time you try to seduce anyone, don't do it with talk, with words. Women know more about words than men ever will. And they know how little they can ever possibly mean.

People to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.

She is like all the rest of them. Whether they are seventeen or forty-seven, when they finally come to surrender completely, it's going to be in words.

Sometimes I ain’t so sho who's got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and when he ain’t. Sometimes I think it ain’t none of us pure crazy and ain’t none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it ain’t so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.

The artist's only responsibility is his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one... 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.

The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.

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

She was bored. She loved, had capacity to love, for love, to give and accept love. Only she tried twice and failed twice to find somebody not just strong enough to deserve it, earn it, match it, but even brave enough to accept it.

Surely there is something in madness, even the demoniac, which Satan flees, aghast at his own handiwork, and which God looks on in pity..

The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.

The past is never dead. It's not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose providence dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequence echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always.

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it.

She was the captain of her soul.

Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.

The best job that was ever offered to me was to become a landlord in a brothel. In my opinion it's the perfect milieu for an artist to work in.

The phenomenon of war is its hermaphroditism: the principles of victory and of defeat inhabit the same body and the necessary opponent, enemy, is merely the bed they self-exhaust each other on.

Poets are almost always wrong about facts. That's because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth.

She wasn’t too big, heroic, what they call Junoesque. It was that there was just too much of what she was for any one human female package to contain, and hold: too much of white, too much of female, too much of maybe just glory, I don’t know: so that at first sight of her you felt a kind of shock of gratitude just for being alive and being male at the same instance with her in space and time, and then in the next second and forever after a kind of despair because you knew there would never be enough of any one male to match and hold and deserve her; grief forever after because forever after nothing less would ever do.

Tell about the South. What's it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.

The clock tick-tocked, solemn and profound. It might have been the dry pulse of the decaying house itself, after a while it whirred and cleared its throat and struck six times.

The poets are wrong of course… But then poets are almost always wrong about facts. That's because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth: which is why the truth they speak is so true that even those who hate poets by simple and natural instinct are exalted and terrified by it.

Pointless... like giving caviar to an elephant.

She wouldn't say what we both knew. 'The reason you will not say it is, when you say it, even to yourself, you will know it is true: is that it? But you know it is true now. I can almost tell you the day when you knew it is true. Why won't you say it, even to yourself?' She will not say it.

Tell um de good Lawd don’t keer whether he bright er not. Don’t nobody but white trash keer dat.

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