William Faulkner (1897–1962) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, poetry, essays, and a play.
He is one of the most celebrated writers in American literature generally and Southern literature specifically.
Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), each won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century; also on the list were As I Lay Dying (1930) and Light in August (1932). Absalom, Absalom! (1936) appears on similar lists.
Faulkner was known for his experimental style with meticulous attention to diction and cadence.
In contrast to the minimalist understatement of his contemporary Ernest Hemingway, Faulkner made frequent use of „stream of consciousness“ in his writing, and wrote often highly emotional, subtle, cerebral, complex, and sometimes Gothic or grotesque stories of a wide variety of characters including former slaves or descendants of slaves, poor white, agrarian, or working-class Southerners, and Southern aristocrats.
Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.
A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you’d think misfortune would get tired but then time is your misfortune.
I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire… 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 of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won. 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.
It’s not when you realize that nothing can help you – religion, pride, anything – it’s when you realize that you don’t need any aid.
I say money has no value; it’s just the way you spend it.
I suppose that people, using themselves and each other so much by words, are at least consistent in attributing wisdom to a still tongue…
Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons.
Women are never virgins. Purity is a negative state and therefore contrary to nature.
Bad health is the primary reason for all life. Created by disease, within putrefaction, into decay.
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.
Freedom comes with the decision: it does not wait for the act.
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.
You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.
Don’t do what you can do – try what you can’t do.
Unless you’re ashamed of yourself now and then, you’re not honest.
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’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.
People need trouble – a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it.
Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.
You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.
A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences.
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… nor make love for eight hours…