21 July 2008

Faulkner's Sage Advice

"Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only one question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. He must learn them again."

"He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse."


Lawrence Underwood said...

Wow. Those are some insightful comments. Isn't it amazing how appropriate they are for today? '. . . the old verities and truths of the heart. . .' that is quite a phrase.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hello Lawrence. Yes, that is why I posted them. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe these quotes are from his Nobel acceptance speech in 1950. A beautiful writer.