William Cuthbert Faulkner (born 25 September 1897, New Albany, Mississippi, United States – died 6 July 1962, Byhalia, Mississippi, United States) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, poetry, essays, and a play. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! are some of his most famous works.
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.
William Faulkner You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. 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. Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else. We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. The past is never dead. It's not even past. Unless you’re ashamed of yourself now and then, you’re not honest. Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain. The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. In writing, you must kill all your darlings. I was wrong. I admit it. I believed that there were things which still mattered just because they had mattered once. But I was wrong. Nothing matters but breath, breathing, to know and to be alive. The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.
...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 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.
William Faulkner How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home. The saddest thing about love, Joe, is that not only the love cannot last forever, but even the heartbreak is soon forgotten. Don’t be a writer’. Be writing. Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words. I'm bad and I'm going to hell, and I don't care. I'd rather be in hell than anywhere where you are. 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. Wonder. Go on and wonder. Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely. I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth. A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you’d think misfortune would get tired but then time is your misfortune. Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders. A gentleman can live through anything. I say money has no value; it’s just the way you spend it. I decline to accept the end of man. Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it. Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.
He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn't need a word for that any more than for pride or fear....One day I was talking to Cora. She prayed for me because she believed I was blind to sin, wanting me to kneel and pray too, because people to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.
William Faulkner Sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words. I am tired of running of having to carry my life like it was a basket of eggs. Just when do men that have different blood in them stop hating one another? It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That’s how the world is going to end. Even a liar can be scared into telling the truth, same as an honest man can be tortured into telling a lie. Pouring out liquor is like burning books. Between grief and nothing I will take grief. Be scared. You can’t help that. But don’t be afraid. To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi. Life is a process of preparing to be dead for a long time. They say that it is the practiced liar who can deceive. But so often the practiced and chronic liar deceives only himself; it is the man who all his life has been selfconvicted of veracity whose lies find quickest credence. 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. 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. Don’t do what you can do – try what you can’t do. If there is a God what the hell is He for? Our most treasured family heirloom are our sweet family memories. The past is never dead, it is not even past. To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow. I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it. You can't beat women anyhow and that if you are wise or dislike trouble and uproar you don't even try to. The most important thing is insight, that is to be – curious – to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does. There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty; then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t. I believe man will not merely endure, he will prevail, because he has a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. Facts and truth really don’t have much to do with each other. Once a bitch always a bitch, what I say. Well, between Scotch and nothin’, I suppose I’d take Scotch. It’s the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find. People to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too. So vast, so limitless in capacity is man’s imagination to disperse and burn away the rubble-dross of fact and probability, leaving only truth and dream. 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. Most men are a little better than their circumstances give them a chance to be. 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. War and drink are the two things man is never too poor to buy. If happy I can be I will, if suffer I must I can. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station…. The best fiction is far more true than any journalism. Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good. Love doesn’t die; the men and women do. And sure enough, even waiting will end…if you can just wait long enough. Tomorrow night is nothing but one long sleepless wrestle with yesterday's omissions and regrets.