The Truth and the Faulkner… Part Deux

A sober man’s thoughts are a drunk man’s words…A selection of some of Faulkner’s more profound statements:

“A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid.”

“An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why.”

“Given a choice between grief and nothing, I’d choose grief.”

“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

“Perhaps they were right in putting love into books… Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.”

“The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.”

If I were reincarnated, I’d want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything. never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.”

“To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.”

Next week is the end of the series on Faulkner trivia. I may even talk Two Stick into making it a category for Two Stick-Trivia-Tuesday. (Tuesdays @ 10 @ 2 Stick, FYI.) My team is unstoppable. Not really. But “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” needs competition.

This is a link to an interactive website to Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, in Oxford, MS. Now a museum operated by the University of Mississippi, Rowan Oak is open 10-4 Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday. The grounds are open from dawn til dusk every day.

P.S. It’s not only his grave that is haunted. Faulkner told his children that an old maid flung herself from the balcony of Rowan Oak. She is supposedly buried under the Magnolia tree near the garden.

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  1. Did you know that BH4J is my trivia team…? Thanks for the shout out!

  2. I’m not writing to knock Faulkner. He’s one of my favorite writers and always will be. I’m not sure if I’m sending this to the right place, so please forward it if I’ve sent it to the wrong spot.

    I read about the dust-up between the Faulkner Estate (attorneys probably) and Woody Allen. I agree that Woody Allen should have gotten permission for his use of a quote from Faulkner’s 1950 work, Requiem for a Nun:

    “The Past is Never Dead. It’s not even past.”

    with a couple of words changed or moved…..

    But the quote that came to mind when I read about the squabble over Faulkner’s quote is from Eugene O’Neill’s 1943 work, A Moon for the Misbegotten:

    “There is no present or future, only the
    past, happening over and over again, now.”

    I’m impressed that Faulkner, who could be a bit wordy, shortened the quote, but the two passages are more than similar. When does it become plagiarism instead of simply a nod to an author who is widely admired?

    I’m not saying that Woody Allen was right to take a quote and neither attribute it to Faulkner nor get permission from the current copyright holder. At a minimum, he should have told whoever is protecting the copyrights to Faulkner’s work that he was using a form of that quote; he should have done due diligence to find out if the copyright was still in effect or if the work had entered the public domain, which it hasn’t. He’d be the first person to scream if one of his movies (or a section of one of his movies) was used without his permission.

    It actually sounds like the lawyer for the movie company has never heard of Faulkner. It’s scary that someone could get through grade school, high school, college, and graduate (law) school and not know enough to realize Faulkner isn’t just some dead guy from Mississippi who wrote a book or two. US schools get worse every year.

    I would love to get to Mississippi to see the Museum and perhaps a ghost or two. (I have seen a couple of ghosts in my life and many houses in my development are haunted. A lot of folks have changed their minds about the existence of ghosts since they moved here. We’ve got ghosts all over Virginia because you can’t swing a stick without hitting a Civil War battle site, but they’re marked, at least on major roads.)

    I haven’t used HTML tags because they confuse me…sorry.

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