Faulkner is one of the greatest writers of the modern era. His idiosyncratic style has remained a constant influence upon even among the best of contemporary writers. See below for our favourite quotes from this preeminent writer.

The Saddest Thing About Love

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

Mausoleum Of All Hope And Desire

“…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

Hunger

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

Love

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

New Horizons

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

Writing

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

Good And Evil

“For neither good nor evil can last for ever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand.”
– Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

The Riddle

“What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman’s mind?”
– Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Words

“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

Rain On A Strange Roof

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

Memory

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

Wonder

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

Dreams

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

Clocks And Time

“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

Man Will Endure

“I decline to accept the end of man… I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among the creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.”
– William Faulkner

Love

“He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn’t need a word for that any more than for pride or fear….One day I was talking to Cora. She prayed for me because she believed I was blind to sin, wanting me to kneel and pray too, because people to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.”
– William Faulkner

Every Artist

“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