William Faulkner

  • Sep. 21st, 2014 at 12:27 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
Between grief and nothing I will take grief.

William Faulkner

  • May. 5th, 2014 at 7:01 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, train himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and 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 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 that or not.

William Faulkner

  • Feb. 2nd, 2013 at 8:18 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
It would be three hours yet before he would learn why she had sent for him because this part of it, this first part of it, Quentin already knew. It was a part of his twenty years' heritage of breathing the same air and hearing his father talk about the man; a part of the town's-Jefferson's-eighty years' heritage of the same air which the man himself had breathed between this September afternoon in 1909 and that Sunday morning in June in 1833 when he first rode into town out of no discernible past and acquired his land no one knew how and built his house, his mansion, apparently out of nothing and married Ellen Coldfield and begot his two children - the son who widowed the daughter who had not yet been a bride - and so accomplished his allotted course to its violent (Miss Coldfield at least would have said, just) end. Quentin had grown up with that; the mere names were interchangeable and almost myriad. His childhood was full of them; his very body was an empty hall echoing with sonorous defeated names; he was not a being, an entity, he was a commonwealth. He was a barracks filled with stubborn back-looking ghosts still recovering, even forty-three years afterward, from the fever which had cured the disease, waking from the fever without even knowing that it had been the fever itself which they had fought against and not the sickness, looking with stubborn recalcitrance backward beyond the fever and into the disease with actual regret, weak from the fever yet free of the disease and not even aware that the freedom was that of impotence.

(Absalom, Absalom)

William Faulkner

  • Jan. 25th, 2013 at 12:16 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
I doubt that a man trying to write about people is any more interested in blood relationships than in the shape of their noses, unless they are necessary to help the story move. If the writer concentrates on what he does need to be interested in, which is the truth and the human heart, he won't have much time left for anything else, such as ideas and facts like the shape of noses or blood relationships, since in my opinion ideas and facts have very little connection with truth.

William Faulkner

  • Jul. 17th, 2012 at 6:51 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)

By artist I mean of course everyone who has tried to create something which was not here before him, with no other tools and materials than the uncommerciable ones of the human spirit; who has tried to carve, no matter how crudely, on the wall of that final oblivion, in the tongue of the human spirit, "Kilroy was here."

That is primarily, and I think in its essence, all that we ever really tried to do. And I believe we will all agree that we failed. That what we made never quite matched and never will match the shape, the dream of perfection which we inherited and which drove us and will continue to drive us, even after each failure, until anguish frees us and the hand falls still at last.

William Faulkner

  • Jun. 21st, 2012 at 10:05 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
Art is simpler than people think because there is so little to write about. All the moving things are eternal in man’s history and have been written before, and if a man writes hard enough, sincerely enough, humbly enough, and with the unalterable determination never never never to be quite satisfied with it, he will repeat them, because art like poverty takes care of its own, shares its bread.

William Faulkner

  • Apr. 24th, 2012 at 12:23 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
I like to think of the world I created as being a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as that keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse.

William Faulkner

  • Mar. 27th, 2012 at 9:56 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
I am telling the same story over and over, which is myself and the world... This I think accounts for what people call the obscurity, the involved formless "style", endless sentences. I’m trying to say it all in one sentence, between one Cap and one period. I’m still trying to put it all, if possible, on one pinhead. I don’t know how to do it. All I know is to keep on trying in a new way.

William Faulkner

  • Feb. 13th, 2012 at 11:52 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
The dark was filled with the voices, myriad, out of all time that he had known, as though all the past was a flat pattern. And going on, tomorrow night, all the tomorrows, to be a part of the flat pattern, going on. He thought of that with quiet astonishment: going on, myriad, familiar, since all that had ever been was the same as all that was to be, since tomorrow to-be and had-been would be the same.

(Light in August)

William Faulkner

  • Nov. 7th, 2011 at 11:11 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
"Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words..." (Mosquitoes: A Novel)

William Faulkner

  • Oct. 6th, 2011 at 1:42 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at nine o'clock every morning.

William Faulkner

  • Jul. 6th, 2011 at 7:06 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
"It is as though the space between us were time: an irrevocable quality. It is as though time, no longer running straight before us in a diminishing line, now runs parallel between us like a looping string, the distance being the doubling accretion of the thread and not the interval between." (As I Lay Dying)

William Faulkner

  • Jun. 7th, 2011 at 12:28 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
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.

William Faulkner

  • Apr. 27th, 2011 at 1:46 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders. Knows remembers believes a corridor in a big long garbled cold echoing building of dark red brick soot-bleakened by more chimneys than its own, set in a grassless cinderstrewnpacked compound surrounded by smoking factory purlieus and enclosed by a ten foot steel-and-wire fence like a penitentiary or a zoo, where in random erratic surges, with sparrowlike, childtrebling orphans in identical and uniform blue denim in and out of remembering but in knowing constant as the bleak walls, the bleak windows where in rain soot from the yearly adjacenting chimneys streaked like black tears.

(Light in August)

William Faulkner

  • Mar. 13th, 2011 at 10:24 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
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

  • Feb. 9th, 2011 at 12:16 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
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

  • Nov. 22nd, 2010 at 1:08 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
...whether or not you consider it courageous is of more importance than the act itself... (The Sound and the Fury)

William Faulkner

  • Oct. 29th, 2010 at 12:24 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
In my opinion, if I could write all my work again, I am convinced that I would do it better, which is the healthiest condition for an artist. That's why he keeps on working, trying again; he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off. Of course he won't, which is why this condition is healthy. Once he did it, once he matched the work to the image, the dream, nothing would remain but to cut his throat, jump off the other side of that pinnacle of perfection into suicide.

William Faulkner

  • Oct. 17th, 2010 at 9:21 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
"...I would think how words go straight up in a thin line, quick and harmless, and how terribly doing goes along the earth, clinging to it, so that after a while the two lines are too far apart for the same person to straddle from one to the other; and that 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." (As I Lay Dying)

Toni Morrison

  • Oct. 17th, 2010 at 9:12 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: boat in sunset)
There is a level of appreciation that might be available only to the people who understand the context of the language. The analogy that occurs to me is jazz: it is open on the one hand and both complicated and inaccessible on the other. I never asked Tolstoy to write for me, a little colored girl in Lorain, Ohio. I never asked [James] Joyce not to mention Catholicism or the world of Dublin. Never. And I don't know why I should be asked to explain your life to you. We have splendid writers to do that, but I am not one of them. It is that business of being universal, a word hopelessly stripped of meaning for me. Faulkner wrote what I suppose could be called regional literature and had it published all over the world. It is good - and universal - because it is specifically about a particular world.

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