65 William Faulkner Quotes For Success In Life

William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, poetry, essays, and a play. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based in Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life. These William Faulkner quotes will motivate you.

Best William Faulkner Quotes

  1. “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.” ~ William Faulkner
  2. “The past is never dead. It’s not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose providence dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequence echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always.” ~ William Faulkner
  3. “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ William Faulkner
  4. “Don’t do what you can do – try what you can’t do.” ~ William Faulkner
  5. “A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station….” ~ William Faulkner
  6. “Unless you’re ashamed of yourself now and then, you’re not honest” ~ William Faulkner

  7. “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
  8. “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
  9. “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” ~ William Faulkner Quotes
  10. “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
  11. “Be scared. You can’t help that. But don’t be afraid.” ~ William Faulkner

  12. “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” ~ William Faulkner
  13. “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.” ~ William Faulkner
  14. “Don’t bother just to be better than others. Try to be better than yourself.” ~ William Faulkner
  15. “You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.” ~ William Faulkner
  16. “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.” ~ William Faulkner
  17. “No man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors.” ~ William Faulkner
  18. “It’s all now you see: tomorrow began yesterday and yesterday won’t be over until tomorrow.” ~ William Faulkner
  19. “Life is a process of preparing to be dead for a long time.” ~ William Faulkner

  20. “Facts and truth really don’t have much to do with each other.” ~ William Faulkner
  21. “So, never be afraid. Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion, against injustice and lying and greed. If you, not just you in this room tonight, but in all the thousands of other rooms like this one about the world today and tomorrow and next week, will do this, not as a class or classes, but as individuals, men and women, you will change the earth.” ~ William Faulkner
  22. “Believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail.” ~ William Faulkner
  23. “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” ~ William Faulkner
  24. “Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.” ~ William Faulkner
  25. “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” ~ William Faulkner
  26. “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.” ~ William Faulkner
  27. “Wonder. Go on and wonder.” ~ William Faulkner

  28. “At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that the young man must possess or teach himself, training himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance-that is to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is to be-curiosity-to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does, and if you have that, then I don’t think the talent makes much difference, whether you’ve got it or not.” ~ William Faulkner
  29. “Our most treasured family heirloom are our sweet family memories. The past is never dead, it is not even past.” ~ William Faulkner
  30. “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
  31. “Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.” ~ William Faulkner

  32. “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.” ~ William Faulkner
  33. “I believe man will not merely endure, he will prevail…because he has a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” ~ William Faulkner Quotes
  34. “The ideal woman which is in every man’s mind is evoked by a word or phrase or the shape of her wrist, her hand. The most beautiful description of a woman is by understatement. Remember, all Tolstoy ever said to describe Anna Karenina was that she was beautiful and could see in the dark like a cat. Every man has a different idea of what’s beautiful, and it’s best to take the gesture, the shadow of the branch, and let the mind create the tree.” ~ William Faulkner
  35. “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
  36. “A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences.” ~ William Faulkner

  37. “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
  38. “A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once.” ~ William Faulkner
  39. “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.” ~ William Faulkner
  40. “An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why.” ~ William Faulkner
  41. “People need trouble – a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don’t mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy.” ~ William Faulkner
  42. “There are some things for which three words are three too many, and three thousand words that many words too less.” ~ William Faulkner

  43. “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.” ~ William Faulkner
  44. “The books I read are the ones I knew and loved when I was a young man and to which I return as you do to old friends.” ~ William Faulkner
  45. “I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem with decency and self-respect and whatever courage is demanded, is to know where you yourself stand. That is, to have in words what you believe and are acting from.” ~ William Faulkner Quotes
  46. “We have to start teaching ourselves not to be afraid.” ~ William Faulkner
  47. “Truth; that long clean clear simple undeniable unchallengeable straight and shining line, on one side of which black is black and on the other white is white, has now become an angle, a point of view.” ~ William Faulkner
  48. “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 self-convicted of veracity whose lies find quickest credence.” ~ William Faulkner
  49. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.” ~ William Faulkner

  50. “I’d have wasted a lot of time and trouble before I learned that the best way to take all people, black or white, is to take them for what they think they are, then leave them alone.” ~ William Faulkner
  51. “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…nor make love for eight hours…” ~ William Faulkner
  52. “No battle is ever won … victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.” ~ William Faulkner
  53. “The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.” ~ William Faulkner
  54. “A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you’d think misfortune would get tired but then time is your misfortune” ~ William Faulkner
  55. “The salvation of the world is in man’s suffering.” ~ William Faulkner

  56. “Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.” ~ William Faulkner
  57. “Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.” ~ William Faulkner
  58. “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself” ~ William Faulkner
  59. “Civilization begins with distillation” ~ William Faulkner

  60. “Your illusions are a part of you like your bones and flesh and memory.” ~ William Faulkner
  61. “Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error.” ~ William Faulkner
  62. “Pouring out liquor is like burning books.” ~ William Faulkner
  63. “I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.” ~ William Faulkner
  64. “You get born and you try this and you don’t know why, only you keep on trying it and you are born at the same time with a lot of other people, all mixed up with them, like trying to, having to, move your arms and legs with strings, only the same strings are hitched to all the other arms and legs and the others all trying and they don’t know why either except that the strings are all in one another’s way.” ~ William Faulkner
  65. “The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.” ~ William Faulkner

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