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Posts Tagged ‘Nobel Prize for Literature 1949’

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 the 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.  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 old 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, of 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.
 

—  William Faulkner’s Acceptance Speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1949
 

[For the full speech, you can go to my Poems page or click here.  —  KMAB]
 

 

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As long as shy, reclusive farmers can write like this (William Faulkner’s Acceptance Speech for the Nobel Prize for Literature 1949) mankind will prevail!!!
To learn more about Faulkner,visit this site at the University of Mississippi.
Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it.
It seems the issue is no longer if we will be blown up, but rather, “Why is America no longer the country I was promised and the world no longer safe?” and more directly, “Who can I blame for this change, because it can’t have been my fault?”
Did you vote in Nov. 2000?  Nov. 2004?  Nov. 2008?  Will you vote in Nov. 2010?  Nov. 2012?  Do you want a continuing message of fear, hate and “them against us” or one of hope and calm reassurance?
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