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William Faulkner quotes (54)

A gentleman can live through anything.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once.
William Faulkner   Category:

A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category: Dreams

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category: Time

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
William Faulkner   Category:

Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency to get the book written.
William Faulkner   Category:

Facts and truth really don't have much to do with each other.
William Faulkner   Category:

Given a choice between grief and nothing, I'd choose grief.
William Faulkner   Category:

Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.
William Faulkner   Category:

Hollywood is a place where a man can get stabbed in the back while climbing a ladder.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

I decline to accept the end of man.
William Faulkner   Category:

I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth.
William Faulkner   Category:

I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem is to know where you yourself stand. That is, to have in words what you believe and are acting from.
William Faulkner   Category:

I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it.
William Faulkner   Category:

I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

I'm inclined to think that a military background wouldn't hurt anyone.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoevski, all of us.
William Faulkner   Category:

If I were reincarnated, I'd want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything.
William Faulkner   Category:

It is my aim, and every effort bent, that the sum and history of my life, which in the same sentence is my obit and epitaph too, shall be them both: He made the books and he died.
William Faulkner   Category:

It's a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can't eat for eight hours; he can't drink for eight hours; he can't make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work.
William Faulkner   Category: Work

Man performs and engenders so much more than he can or should have to bear. That's how he finds that he can bear anything.
William Faulkner   Category:

Man will not merely endure; he will prevail.
William Faulkner   Category:

Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it.
William Faulkner   Category:

Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.
William Faulkner   Category:

My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
William Faulkner   Category:

Our tragedy is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it... the basest of all things is to be afraid.
William Faulkner   Category:

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

Pointless... like giving caviar to an elephant.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category: Art

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.
William Faulkner   Category: Wisdom

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.
William Faulkner   Category:

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
William Faulkner   Category:

The past is never dead. It's not even past.
William Faulkner   Category:

The salvation of the world is in man's suffering.
William Faulkner   Category:

The scattered tea goes with the leaves and every day a sunset dies.
William Faulkner   Category:

The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.
William Faulkner   Category:

There is something about jumping a horse over a fence, something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it's the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need.
William Faulkner   Category:

This is a free country. Folks have a right to send me letters, and I have a right not to read them.
William Faulkner   Category:

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.
William Faulkner   Category: Equality

To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.
William Faulkner   Category:

Tomorrow night is nothing but one long sleepless wrestle with yesterday's omissions and regrets.
William Faulkner   Category:

Unless you're ashamed of yourself now and then, you're not honest.
William Faulkner   Category:

We have to start teaching ourselves not to be afraid.
William Faulkner   Category:

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

You should approach Joyce's Ulysses as the illiterate Baptist preacher approaches the Old Testament: with faith.
William Faulkner   Category: