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 :: 1897-1962, American Novelist

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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 - [Conscience]

 

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A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once.
~ William Faulkner - [Patience]

 

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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 - [Failure]

 

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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 - [Arts and Artists]

 

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Facts and truth really don't have much to do with each other.
~ William Faulkner - [Facts]

 

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I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail.
~ William Faulkner - [Optimism]

 

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I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it.
~ William Faulkner - [Writers and Writing]

 

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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 - [Writers and Writing]

 

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If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoevski, all of us.
~ William Faulkner - [Writers and Writing]

 

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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.
~ William Faulkner - [America]

 

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Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it.
~ William Faulkner - [Gratitude]

 

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My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
~ William Faulkner - [Writers and Writing]

 

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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.
~ William Faulkner - [Christians and Christianity]

 

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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.
~ William Faulkner - [Work]

 

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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.
~ William Faulkner - [Age and Aging]

 

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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.
~ William Faulkner - [Books and Reading]

 

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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.
~ William Faulkner - [Arts and Artists]

 

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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 - [Critics and Criticism]

 

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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.
~ William Faulkner - [Literature]

 

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The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.
~ William Faulkner - [Dreams]

 

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