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William Faulkner Quotes About Love, Life, and Death

These William Faulkner quotes about time will make you think about the past.

William Faulkner was an American author famous for his novels, short stories, and other written works. If you’re a fan of literature, you’re probably already familiar with this celebrated writer.

The William Faulkner quotes below will open your mind up to a fresh perspective on life. The author had many interesting philosophies on death, the past, and what it truly means to love. His words of wisdom will have you thinking about your prior choices and future opportunities.

Have you ever read Falkner’s most notable works, like The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying? Faulkner was so skilled at creating renowned written works that he even received a Nobel Prize in Literature. Read these William Faulkner quotes to gain a greater appreciation for this talented writer.

Don’t forget to also check out these Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes that will make you think.

William Faulkner quotes about love, life, and death

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. “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” – William Faulkner

3. “Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.” – William Faulkner

4. “Unless you’re ashamed of yourself now and then, you’re not honest.” – William Faulkner

5. “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – William Faulkner

6. “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

7. “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” – William Faulkner

8. “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – William Faulkner

9. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” – William Faulkner

10. “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.” – William Faulkner

William Faulkner quotes that will introduce you to a new way of thinking

11. “I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire…I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.” – William Faulkner

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12. “Don’t be a writer’. Be writing.” – William Faulkner

13. “I’m bad and I’m going to hell, and I don’t care. I’d rather be in hell than anywhere where you are.” – William Faulkner

14. “Wonder. Go on and wonder.” – William Faulkner

15. “Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely.” – William Faulkner

16. “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

17. “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” – William Faulkner

18. “The next time you try to seduce anyone, don’t do it with talk, with words. Women know more about words than men ever will. And they know how little they can ever possibly mean.” – William Faulkner

19. “The saddest thing about love, Joe, is that not only the love cannot last forever, but even the heartbreak is soon forgotten.” – William Faulkner

20. “How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.” – William Faulkner

Memorable William Faulkner quotes

21. “Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.” – William Faulkner

22. “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.” – William Faulkner

23. “Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.” – William Faulkner

24. “I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth.” – William Faulkner

25. “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.” – William Faulkner

26. “If a story is in you, it has to come out.” – William Faulkner

27. “You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.” – William Faulkner

28. “Pouring out liquor is like burning books.” – William Faulkner

29. “It’s a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can’t eat for eight hours; he can’t drink for eight hours; he can’t make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work.” – William Faulkner

30. “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

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William Faulkner quotes to open your mind up to a fresh perspective on life

31. “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” – William Faulkner

32. “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

33. “Most men are a little better than their circumstances give them a chance to be.” – William Faulkner

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34. “It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That’s how the world is going to end.” – 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 writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid.” – William Faulkner

37. “War and drink are the two things man is never too poor to buy.” – William Faulkner

38. “Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash: your picture in the paper nor money in the bank either. Just refuse to bear them.” – William Faulkner

39. “If happy I can be I will, if suffer I must I can.” – William Faulkner

40. “The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.” – William Faulkner

Thought-provoking William Faulkner quotes

41. “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

42. “It is the writer’s privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.” – William Faulkner

43. “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 like five or six people all trying to make a rug on the same loom only each one wants to weave his own pattern into the rug, and it can’t matter, you know that, or the ones that set up the loom would have arranged things a little better, and yet it must matter because you keep on trying or having to keep on trying and then all of a sudden it’s all over.” – William Faulkner

44. “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.” – William Faulkner

45. “People to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.” – William Faulkner

46. “A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences.” – William Faulkner

47. “All of us have failed to match our dream of perfection. I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. If I could write all my work again, I’m convinced I could do it better. This is the healthiest condition for an artist. That’s why he keeps working, trying again: he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off. Of course, he won’t.” – William Faulkner

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48. “Love doesn’t die; the men and women do.” – William Faulkner

49. “Dear God, let me be damned a little longer, a little while.” – William Faulkner

50. “And sure enough, even waiting will end…if you can just wait long enough.” – William Faulkner

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More William Faulkner quotes and sayings

51. “This does not matter. This is not anything yet. It all depends on what you do with it, afterward.” – William Faulkner

52. “The scattered tea goes with the leaves and every day a sunset dies.” – William Faulkner

53. “Marriage is long enough to have plenty of room for time behind it.” – William Faulkner

54. “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity; it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” – William Faulkner

55. “Bad health is the primary reason for all life. Created by disease, within putrefaction, into decay.” – William Faulkner

56. “Life was created in the valleys. It blew up onto the hills on the old terrors, the old lusts, the old despairs. That’s why you must walk up the hills so you can ride down.” – William Faulkner

57. “Life wasn’t made to be easy on folks: they wouldn’t ever have any reason to be good and die.” – William Faulkner

58. “Most of life is just a preparation for getting ready to be dead for a very long period of time.” – William Faulkner

59. “Nothing matters but breath, breathing, to know and to be alive.” – William Faulkner

60. “Anyway, there is a certain integral consistency which, whether it be right or wrong, a man must cherish because it alone will ever permit him to die.” – William Faulkner

What are your favorite William Faulkner quotes about the south and the past?

William Faulkner was a beloved writer because he had a unique writing style and many interesting ideas to share.

This collection of incredible quotes from the author highlight his intelligence, wit, and insight. Even if you’ve never read one of his novels or short stories, the humanity found within these words will resonate with you.

Overall, William Faulkner is best known for being a brilliant author from Mississippi who also won a Nobel Prize. This man accomplished many amazing things in his life and created a legacy that will be remembered for generations.

Share this collection of quotes with your friends and family to remind them of the writer’s genius. His powerful words of wisdom live on forever in his quotes and written works.

What are your favorite William Faulkner quotes and sayings about love and life? Let us know in the comment section below.

Samantha Williams
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  1. Carol Reitmeier

    July 26, 2021 at 10:27 PM

    Thanks for putting these together. Thanks to internet

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