William Styron (11th June, 1925 – 1st November, 2006) was an American novelist and essayist who won many major literary awards for his work. Best known for Sophie’s Choice, Styron also received literary acclaim for novels such as Lie Down in the Darkness, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and his memoir, Darkness Visible.
Styron was born in Hilton Village, Virginia, grew up in the South and was steeped in its history. His birthplace was just one hundred miles from the site of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, no doubt offering inspiration for The Confessions of Nat Turner.
Today we’re looking at Styron through his best known quotes. We hope you enjoy them as much as us!
“The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne. The prevention of many suicides will continue to be hindered until there is a general awareness of the nature of this pain.”
“There are friends one makes at a youthful age in whom one simply rejoices, for whom one possesses a love and loyalty mysteriously lacking in the friendships made in after-years, no matter how genuine.”
“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.”
~ Darkness Visible
“I have learned to cry again and I think perhaps that means I am a human being again. Perhaps that at least. A piece of human being but yes, a human being.”
~ Sophie’s Choice
“Writing for me is the hardest thing in the world, but also a thing which, once completed, is the most satisfying. … I am no prodigy but, Fate willing, I think I can produce art.”
“It is evil to keep these people in bondage, yet they cannot be freed. They must be educated! To free these people without education and with the prejudice that presently exists against them would be a ghastly crime.”