Arcane Fire

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Faulkner: “I decline to accept the end of man.”

with 2 comments

Today German author Herta Muller accepted the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature.  Sixty years ago American author William Faulkner accepted the same prize.  Feeling inspired by my friend Ursula’s link to Faulkner’s Noble Prize acceptance speech, I post some some highlights from it here:

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. … Until he learns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail…. 


Written by doorr

October 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Posted in Art, Awards

2 Responses

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  1. That was a very thought-provoking speech! Do you have any more details on what Muller herself said? Most interviews that I read just mentioned that she kept repeating that she couldn’t believe she’d won. (I suppose it’s a natural reaction). I also read some fascinating accounts about her on Infloox (if you look her up on that site, you’ll see the write-ups there)


    October 9, 2009 at 1:13 am

    • I’ve found the same snippets from Muller as well. The Nobel Prize speeches are given in December, so I guess that’s when we’ll hear more from her. And I’ll be sure to check her out on Infloox.


      October 9, 2009 at 8:16 am

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