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November 28, 2011

The human heart in conflict with itself

William Faulkner's speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1950.

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.

Still topic sixty years on. But today the conflict is all too clear and we refuse to write about it at all.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 28, 2011 08:47 AM