William Faulkner Questions and Answers

William Faulkner book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In William Faulkner's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, what does he say young writers of the day have forgotten about in their writing?

Expert Answers info

Geneva Shackelford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write43 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Faulker says that the physical fear in the age of World War II has made young writers forget what being human is about: the older emotions and truths from a time when fear was not the only thing one could focus on. I have quoted the section of the speech in which Faulkner discusses this topic.

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 suggests here that the main problem people have to contend with is the physical fear wrought by World War II. In light of this physical fear that overwhelms other struggles, young writers have forgotten "problems of the spirit," such as love, passion, sacrifice, or...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 586 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

samcestmoi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCurrent Graduate Student


calendarEducator since 2016

write232 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial