If You Like Whiskey, Then Enjoy These 10 William Faulkner Quotes

American writer William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi in 1897. Much of his early work was poetry, but he became famous for his novels set in the American South, frequently in his fabricated Yoknapatawpha County with works that include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Absalom, Absalom!


He pioneered new techniques in form and style, helping revolutionise the notion of the “narrative.” His contemporaries have described him as a somewhat aloof character, fond of whiskey, infidelity, and blowing off work. Having dropped out of high school before its completion, he lived most of his life in obscurity. One could say the story of William Faulkner is a tale of perseverance, failure, creativity, and, eventually, success. Faulkner won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949 for his “powerful and artistically unique contribution to the Modern American novel.” This dude knew how to turn things around!


William Faulkner

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1. We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.


2. Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good ones don’t have time to bother with success or getting rich.


3. 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.


4. 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.


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


6. You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.


7. A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.


8. 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.


9. It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.


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


11. 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.


Faulkner at the University of Mississippi

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Feature Image Via The Guardian