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William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
« on: June 30, 2012, 11:15:16 PM »
William Faulkner: Nobel Prize Speech
Stockholm, Sweden
December 10, 1950

"I decline to accept the end of man."

I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work--a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before.  So this award is only mine in trust.  t will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin.  But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand where I am standing.

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William Faulkner

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islander

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Re: William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2012, 11:17:51 PM »
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. 

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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.  He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, and victories without hope and worst of all, without pity or compassion.  His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars.  He writes not of the heart but of the glands.

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Re: William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 11:36:23 PM »
Until he learns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man.  I decline to accept the end of man.  It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking.  I refuse to accept this.  I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.  He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.

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William Faulkner

The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.  The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.

http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/faulkner/faulkner.html

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Re: William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2012, 11:50:05 PM »
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William Faulkner
September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962

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Re: William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 07:11:29 AM »
I always cry copiously every time I reread Faulkner's Nobel acceptance speech. To steady myself, I consider the fact that he was a drunkard par excellence.

He ends his speech by saying: "The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.  The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

Hmm. The poet's voice props up mankind, and alcohol props up the poet. 

 8)
...than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

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Re: William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 07:14:03 AM »
When William Faulkner died, at age 64, he was frail and ravaged from decades of alcohol. He’d gone riding on his horse, drunk, and fallen off of it -- the second time this had happened in the last few months of his life. Who rides a horse while drunk? The answer, apparently, is more people than you might imagine.

Anyhow, Faulkner’s convalescence from the fall went badly. Since the age of nineteen, he had (almost incredibly) drunk more than a quart of bourbon a day. Now, immobilized in bed, he went on a prodigious bender, mixing sour mash whiskey and bourbon with pain pills and tranquilizers. His family -- fearing the worst -- convinced him to check himself into Byhalia Sanatorium, where he’d been once before, and had required intravenous fluids and feeding through a tube in his stomach.

Faulkner’s second stay at Byhalia, however, was short. He died of a heart attack soon after arriving. --Pauls Toutonghi



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