Quotes by William Faulkner

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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.

When my horse is running good, I don't stop to give him sugar.
The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.
I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it.
A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once.
Facts and truth really don't have much to do with each other.
The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.
I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail.
The salvation of the world is in man's suffering.
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.
The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next.
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.
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.
Maybe it was because like not only finds like; it can't even escape from being found by its like. Even when it's just like in one thing, because even them two with the same like was different.
Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it.
A man's moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream.
The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.
The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling Kilroy was here on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.
If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoevski, all of us.
The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. 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.
My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
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.
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.
No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by that word. It is every individual's individual code of behavior by means of which he makes himself a better human being than his nature wants to be, if he followed his nature only. Whatever its symbol -- cross or crescent or whatever -- that symbol is man's reminder of his duty inside the human race.
The world’s anguish is caused by people between twenty and forty.
People between twenty and forty are not sympathetic. The child has the capacity to do but it can't know. It only knows when it is no longer able to do --after forty. Between twenty and forty the will of the child to do gets stronger, more dangerous, but it has not begun to learn to know yet. Since his capacity to do is forced into channels of evil through environment and pressures, man is strong before he is moral. The world's anguish is caused by people between twenty and forty.
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.
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.
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, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poets, the writers, duty is to write about these things. It is his 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 poets voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.
Be scared. You cant help that. But dont be afraid. Aint nothing in the woods going to hurt you unless you corner it, or it smells that you are afraid. A bear or a deer, too, has got to be scared of a coward the same as a brave man has got to be.
Between grief and nothing I will take grief.
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.
I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind—and that of the minds who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.
So he bought the automobile, and Boon found his soul's lily maid, the virgin's love of his rough and innocent heart. It was a Winton Flyer.