I only write when the spirit moves me ... and the spirit moves me every day. William Faulkner, Oxford, Mississippi
Civilization begins with distillation
[B]ecause the second time I ever saw you I learned what I had read in books but I never had actually believed: that love and suffering are the same thing and that the value of love is the sum of what you have to pay for it and anytime you get it cheap you have cheated yourself.
Do you think that Hemingway knew he was a writer at twenty years old? No, he did not. Or Fitzgerald, or Wolfe. This is a difficult concept to grasp. Hemingway didn't know he was Ernest Hemingway when he was a young man. Faulkner didn't know he was William Faulkner. But they had to take the first step. They had to call themselves writers. That is the first revolutionary act a writer has to make. It takes courage. But it's necessary
Everyone in the South has no time for reading because they are all too busy writing.
The displacement of water is equal to the something of something.
Pleasure, ecstasy, they cannot seem to bear: their escape from it is in violence, in drinking and fighting and apparently inescapable----And so why should not their religion drive them to crucifixion of themselves and one another? he thinks.
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
Amid the pointing and the horror the clean flame.
I have written about some truly great writers - John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner. Faulkner and Frost were the very peaks of American poetry and fiction in the 20th century.