Quotes from Light in August

William Faulkner ·  507 pages

Rating: (46.4K votes)


“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Memory believes before knowing remembers.

[Light in August]”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Now she hates me. I have taught her that, at least.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Dear God, let me be damned a little longer, a little while.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“a fellow is more afraid of the trouble he might have than he ever is of the trouble he's already got. He'll cling to trouble he's used to before he'll risk a change. Yes. A man will talk about how he'd like to escape from living folks. But it's the dead folks that do him the damage. It's the dead ones that lay quiet in one place and dont try to hold him, that he cant escape from.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August



“She was the captain of her soul”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“I know now that what makes a fool is an inability to take even his own good advice.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“And even a liar can be scared into telling the truth, same as honest man can be tortured into telling a lie.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“My, my. A body does get around.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders. Knows remembers believes a corridor in a big long garbled cold echoing building of dark red brick sootbleakened by more chimneys than its own, set in a grassless cinderstrewnpacked compound surrounded by smoking factory purlieus and enclosed by ten food steel-and-wire fence like a penitentiary or a zoo, where in random erratic surges, with sparrowlike childtrebling, orphans in identical and uniform blue denim in and out of remembering but in knowing constant in the bleak walls, the bleak windows where in rain soot from the yearly adjacenting chimneys streaked like black tears.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August



“She is like all the rest of them. Whether they are seventeen or fortyseven, when they finally come to surrender completely, it's going to be in words.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“And he was not old enough to talk and say nothing at the same time.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“. . .in August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. It might have fauns and satyrs and the gods and---from Greece, from Olympus in it somewhere. It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone. . .the title reminded me of that time, of a luminosity older than our Christian civilization.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Though children can accept adults as adults, adults can never accept children as anything but adults too.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Like a fellow running from or toward a gun ain't got time to worry whether the word for what he is doing is courage or cowardice.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August



“Knowing not grieving remembers a thousand savage and lonely streets.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“He just thought quietly, 'So this is love. I see, I was wrong about it too', thinking as he had thought before and would think again and as every other man has thought: how false the most profound book turns out to be when applied to life. [...] 'Perhaps they were right in putting love into books,' he thought quietly. 'Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“...how false the most profound book turns out to be when applied to life.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“He thought that it was loneliness which he was trying to escape and not himself. But the street ran on: catlike, one place was the same as another to him. But in none of them could he be quiet. But the street ran on in its moods and phases, always empty: he might have seen himself as in numberless avatars, in silence, doomed with motion, driven by the courage of flagged and spurred despair; by the despair of courage whose opportunities had to be flagged and spurred.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“It is just dawn, daylight: that gray and lonely suspension filled with the peaceful and tentative waking of birds. The air, inbreathed, is like spring water. He breathes deep and slow, feeling with each breath himself diffuse in the natural grayness, becoming one with loneliness and quiet that has never known fury or despair. "That was all I wanted," he thinks, in a quiet and slow amazement. "That was all, for thirty years. That didn't seem to be a whole lot to ask in thirty years.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August



“It is because so much happens. Too much happens. That's it. Man performs, engenders, so much more than he can or should have to bear. That's how he finds that he can bear anything. That's it. That's what is so terrible. That he can bear anything, anything.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“A man. All men. He will pass up a hundred chances to do good for one chance to meddle where meddling is not wanted. He will overlook and fail to see chances, opportunities, for riches and fame and welldoing, and even sometimes for evil. But he won't fail to see a chance to meddle.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Just when do men that have different blood in them stop hating one another?”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Surely heaven must have something of the color and shape of whatever village or hill or cottage of which the believer says, This is my own.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“It was only as he put his hand on the door that he became aware of complete silence beyond it, a silence which he at eighteen knew that it would take more than one person to make.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August



“And I reckon them that are good must suffer for it the same as them that are bad.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“At first it had been a torrent; now it was a tide, with a flow and ebb. During its flood she could almost fool them both. It was as if out of her knowledge that it was just a flow that must presently react was born a wilder fury, a fierce denial that could flag itself and him into physical experimentation that transcended imagining, carried them as though by momentum alone, bearing them without volition or plan. It was as if she knew somehow that time was short, that autumn was almost upon her, without knowing yet the exact significance of autumn. It seemed to be instinct alone: instinct physical and instinctive denial of the wasted years. Then the tide would ebb. Then they would be stranded as behind a dying mistral, upon a spent and satiate beach, looking at one another like strangers, with hopeless and reproachful (on his part with weary: on hers with despairing) eyes.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“The whiskey died away in time and was renewed and died again, but the street ran on. From that night the thousand streets ran as one street, with imperceptible corners and changes of scene ...”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“It does not take long. Soon the fine galloping language, the gutless swooning full of sapless trees and dehydrated lusts begins to swim smooth and swift and peaceful. It is better than praying without having to bother to think aloud. It is like listening in a cathedral to a eunuch chanting in a language which he does not even need to not understand.”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August


“Here I am I am tired I am tired of running of having to carry my life like it was a basket of eggs”
― William Faulkner, quote from Light in August



About the author

William Faulkner
Born place: in New Albany, Mississippi, The United States
Born date September 25, 1897
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