Quotations by Faulkner, William


There’s no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty, and then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
(Attributed)

Quoted in James M. Webb and A. Wigfall Green, William Faulkner of Oxford (1965). See also Wright and Chandler.
Added on 8-Aug-13 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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Well, with one martini ah feel bigger, wiser, taller, and with two it goes to the superlative, and ah feel biggest, wisest, tallest, and with three there ain’t no holdin’ me.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
(Attributed)
    (Source)

As quoted in Lauren Bacall, By Myself (1978). Often paraphrased or rendered back into standard English, e.g., "When I have one martini, I feel bigger, wiser, taller. When I have a second, I feel superlative. When I have more, there's no holding me."
Added on 3-Nov-17 | Last updated 3-Nov-17
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A mule will work for you ten years for the privilege of kicking you once.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem], (Ch. 6) “Old Man” (1939)
    (Source)

Variant: "... [V]indictive and patient (it is a known fact that he will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once) ...." (Sartoris (1929))
Added on 10-Jan-20 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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Yes, he thought, between grief and nothing I will take grief.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem], ch. 9 (1939)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Jan-20 | Last updated 21-Jan-20
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Between grief and nothing I will take grief.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
The Wild Palms (1939)
Added on 5-Oct-15 | Last updated 5-Oct-15
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I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem with decency and self-respect and whatever courage is demanded, is to know where you yourself stand. That is, to have in words what you believe and are acting from.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
Letter to David Kirk, Oxford, Miss. (8 Mar 1956)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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