43 Famous William Faulkner Quotes

43 Famous William Faulkner Quotes

by / Comments Off / 498 View / Dec 10, 2014

William Faulkner was a writer of short stories, poetry, and novels from Mississippi in the early 1900′s. He wrote many books that are still acclaimed and read today such as the Pulitzer Prize winner, The Reivers. Some of his other famous books are The Sound and the Fury, and As I Lay Dying. He died in 1962 at the age of 64.

“A gentleman can live through anything.”

“A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you’d think misfortune would get tired, but then time is your misfortune.”

“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.”

“Be scared. You can’t help that. But don’t be afraid. Ain’t 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.”

“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.”

“Darl is our brother, our brother Darl. Our brother Darl in a cage in Jackson where, his grimed hands lying lightly in the quiet interstices, looking out he foams.”

“Even a liar can be scared into telling the truth, same as an honest man can be tortured into telling a lie.”

“For the holy are susceptible to to evil, even as you and I, signori; they too are helpless before sin without God’s aid… and the holy can be fooled by sin as quickly as you or I, signori.
“Quicker, because they are holy.”

“Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”

“I decline to accept the end of man.”

“I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth.”

“I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.”

“I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only
then does he take up novel writing.”

“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. ”

“Is Robert Ingersoll telling me that for twenty years I have leaned upon a reed no stronger than myself?”

“It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless.”

“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”

“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.”

“Once a bitch always a bitch, what I say.”

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

“Pointless. . . . Like giving caviar to an elephant.”

“Pouring out liquor is like burning books.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It’s like it aint 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 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.”

“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 past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

“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.”

“The saddest thing about love, Joe, is that not only the love cannot last forever, but even the heartbreak is soon forgotten.”

“Then Ben wailed again, hopeless and prolonged. It was nothing. Just sound. It might have been all time and injustice and sorrow become vocal for an instant by a conjunction of planets.”

“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.”

“There were many things I could do for two or three days and earn enough money to live on for the rest of the month. By temperament I’m a vagabond and a tramp.”

“Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing as was — only is.”

“We never thought, sitting in my office on those afternoons, discussing Voltaire and Ingersoll, that we would ever be brought to this, did we?”

“Well, between Scotch and nothin’, I suppose I’d take Scotch. It’s the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find.”

“When grown people speak of the innocence of children, they dont really know what they mean.”

“When people act like niggers, no matter who they are the only thing to do is treat them like a nigger.”

“Who is he who will affirm that there must be a web of flesh and bone to hold the shape of love?”

“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.”

“You can’t beat women anyhow and that if you are wise or dislike trouble and uproar you don’t even try to.”

“You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.”