William Faulkner

Literary Birthday – 25 September – William Faulkner

William Faulkner was born 25 September 1897, and died 6 July 1962.

The 12 Best William Faulkner Quotes On Writing

  1. Poets are almost always wrong about facts. That’s because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth.
  2. The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.
  3. If a story is in you, it has to come out.
  4. 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.
  5. It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless, no refuse save the printed books; I wish I had enough sense to see ahead thirty years ago, and like some of the Elizabethans, not signed them. It is my aim, and every effort bent, that the sum and history of my life, which in the same sentence is my obit and epitaph too, shall be them both: He made the books and he died.
  6. In writing, you must kill all your darlings.
  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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The writer’s only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. Everything goes by the board: honour, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. 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.
  11. My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
  12. 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 was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate. Faulkner is one of the most important writers of Southern literature in the United States. His novels include The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. He was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Follow this link to find out more about Faulkner House.



This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3f06403.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 25th September 2012