William Faulkner: 10 quotes for his birthday

William Faulkner was born William Cuthbert Falkner in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. Even though he initially excelled in his first years of school, his interest in classes faded until he dropped out of high school. Later, he went to the University of Mississippi, but often skipped classes. He did poorly, receiving a D in English and dropping out after a few semesters. Nevertheless, Faulkner began writing poetry and even novels. When one of his early books was rejected by publishers, he decided never to attempt to please them again. He began writing in a highly experimental stream of consciousness style became his trademark. Some of his most enduring works written in this style include "The Sound and the Fury," "As I Lay Dying," and "Absalom, Absalom!" Though largely unknown until he won the 1949 Nobel Prize for literature, his novels became cornerstones of the modernist literary movement and exemplars of new Southern literature. To celebrate his birthday, here are 10 profound, unique, and inspiring quotes from William Faulkner, one of the greatest American writers of all time.

AP photo
American novelist William Faulkner is shown with his pipe in hand at his home in Rowan Oaks near Oxford, Miss., in 1950.

1. The past

"The past is never dead. It's not even past."

– from "Requiem for a Nun" (1951)

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