Faulkner quotes I’m digging tonight

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

“It is the writer’s privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.”

“Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.”

“Wonder. Go on and wonder.”

“…I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire…I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”

“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. ”

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

“A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”

“The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.”

“The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews. ”

“I’m bad and I’m going to hell, and I don’t care. I’d rather be in hell than anywhere where you are. ”

“I love Virginians because Virginians are all snobs and I like snobs. A snob has to spend so much time being a snob that he has little time left to meddle with you.”

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.”

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

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Faulkner quotes I’m digging tonight

“I’m not in the business. I am the business.” (Blade Runner)

There’s that great line in Blade Runner when Deckard and Rachael are talking about getting the shakes and Deckard tells her it’s part of the business, and Rachael—as a replicant—says, “I’m not in the business. I am the business.” I love that line and that scene for many reasons that I am not planning to discuss here.

But, thinking about that line this morning while editing, and while generally thinking about art and artists, a meaning or application of that line, strikes me, that I have never thought about before.

Joe Byron of the LA Film school says that if you watch enough movies you don’t have to go to film school. And I know that to be true, in general. But even as going to film school, watching movies, and working on films all teach you distinct sets of lessons, the more general playground is just your life. And that’s the playground artists really need to be paying attention to. Watching enough movies may be a substitute for having to listen to film school teachers break it down for you, but watching your life is the basic school for all art, all science, all business, all love. Movies made by people who mainly pay attention to other people’s movies—instead of their own life, or even other people’s lives—those movies suck. I always said, at film school, that cinematographers and sound people and production designers, yes, they should go to film school. But directors and writers, when they show up, the school should give them their tuition back and send them on a road trip. People who make the best movies are making them about their lives, or something they know about from life…not things they know from school, or even from other movies. We should, as artists, not be in the business…we should be the business.

Of course, with Deckard as an example, maybe it’s possible to do both.

“I’m not in the business. I am the business.” (Blade Runner)

“I think you are wise in wanting to get out of Asheville…” (Thomas Wolfe)

“…I have known what happened to it for years, but I had a good chance to sum it all up when I went back last summer. It is a ruined and defeated town, and it is full of ruined and defeated people. If you think that I am happy about this, you do me an injustice. After all, it was my town, I was born there, and some of the people I care for most on earth still live there. But I found out last summer that you can’t go home again, and now I know why. … I am going better places, and I invite you to come along. … Did you ever read a story of mine that came out about a year ago called ‘I Have a Thing to Tell You?’ Well, I have a thing to tell you now: that is you can’t go home again, but there are other places you can go. So why not try to find them?”  (Thomas Wolfe via nchistoricsites.com)

“I think you are wise in wanting to get out of Asheville…” (Thomas Wolfe)

"Sometimes I write my rhymes at night and fall asleep / Wake up with new techniques" (Ice-T)

“Grab the pen
And place it on some loose leaf
Nothin’ soft, always the tough meat
The white paper and
Blue lines excite my mind
Not allow’n me to stop the rhyme
Until the whole motherfuckin’
Book’s complete
Then I write on the
Back of the sheets”
(Ice-T)

This is what I grew up listening to.  I’m taking a trip down memory lane.

"Sometimes I write my rhymes at night and fall asleep / Wake up with new techniques" (Ice-T)