When the shadow of the sash appeared in the curtains it was between seven and eight o’clock and then I was in time again, hearing the watch. It was Grandfather’s and when Father gave it to me he said I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire; it’s rather excruciatingly apt that you will use it to gain the reducto absurdum of all human experience which can fit your individual needs no better than it fitted his or his father’s. 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 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.

The Sound and the Fury (1929)
tagged: memory, success, time

Share with your friends

More from William Faulkner

He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn’t need a word for that anymore than for pride or fear.

As I Lay Dying (1930)

Women do have an affinity for evil, for believing that no woman is to be trusted, but that some men are too innocent to protect themselves.

The Sound and the Fury (1929)

Clocks slay time. Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.

The Sound and the Fury (1929)

A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you’d think misfortune would get tired, but then time is your misfortune.

The Sound and the Fury (1929)

Well, between Scotch and nothin’, I suppose I’d take Scotch. It’s the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find.

As quoted in National Observer (3 February 1964)