William Styron cytaty

William Styron Fotografia
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William Styron

Data urodzenia: 11. Czerwiec 1925
Data zgonu: 1. Listopad 2006
Natępne imiona:Вільям Стайрон, 威廉·斯蒂隆,ویلیام استیرن

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William Styron – amerykański pisarz, laureat Nagrody Pulitzera za powieść Wyznania Nata Turnera .

Styron stał się pisarzem rozpoznawalnym już po opublikowaniu debiutanckiej powieści Pogrążyć się w mroku . Następna duża powieść, Na pastwę płomieni , ugruntowała jego pozycję. To psychologiczna opowieść o grupie Amerykanów w powojennych Włoszech – ich wystawny i arogancki styl życia ostro kontrastuje z biedą Południa Italii.

Kolejna z powieści Amerykanina, Wyznania Nata Turnera, wzbudziła gorące dyskusje w Stanach Zjednoczonych. Styron, sam pochodzący z amerykańskiego Południa, opisuje w niej przywódcę buntu Murzynów z 1831. Część krytyków oskarżyła pisarza o podtrzymywanie rasistowskich stereotypów, książka okazała się jednak wielkim sukcesem i rok po wydaniu uhonorowano ją Pulitzerem.

Światową sławę przyniósł pisarzowi opublikowany w 1979 Wybór Zofii, a także filmowa adaptacja książki, dokonana przez Alana Pakulę, z Meryl Streep w roli głównej . Główną postacią książki i filmu jest Polka, była więźniarka Auschwitz , która na emigracji wiąże się z obłąkanym amerykańskim Żydem.

Córka Styrona, Alexandra Styron, poświęciła mu wydaną w 2011 książkę „Reading My Father. A Memoir” .

Cytaty William Styron

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„A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.“

— William Styron, Conversations with William Styron
Interview in Writers at Work, First Series (1958), edited by George Plimpton

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„I felt the exultancy of a man just released from slavery and ready to set the universe on fire.“

— William Styron
Context: When, in the autumn of 1947, I was fired from the first and only job I have ever held, I wanted one thing out of life: to become a writer. I left my position as manuscript reader at the McGraw-Hill Book Company with no regrets; the job had been onerous and boring. It did not occur to me that there would be many difficulties to impede my ambition; in fact, the job itself had been an impediment. All I knew was that I burned to write a novel and I could not have cared less that my bank account was close to zero, with no replenishment in sight. At the age of twenty-two I had such pure hopes in my ability to write not just a respectable first novel, but a novel that would be completely out of the ordinary, that when I left the McGraw-Hill Building for the last time I felt the exultancy of a man just released from slavery and ready to set the universe on fire. "Lie Down In Darkness", This Quiet Dust and Other Writings (1982)

„Her thought process dwindled, ceased. Then she felt her legs crumple. "I can't choose! I can't choose!"“

— William Styron
Context: Her thought process dwindled, ceased. Then she felt her legs crumple. "I can't choose! I can't choose!" Ch. 15

„It thus remains nearly incomprehensible to those who have not experienced it in its extreme mode, although the gloom, “the blues” which people go through occasionally and associate with the general hassle of everyday existence are of such prevalence that they do give many individuals a hint of the illness in its catastrophic form.“

— William Styron
Context: Depression is a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self — to the mediating intellect — as to verge close to being beyond description. It thus remains nearly incomprehensible to those who have not experienced it in its extreme mode, although the gloom, “the blues” which people go through occasionally and associate with the general hassle of everyday existence are of such prevalence that they do give many individuals a hint of the illness in its catastrophic form. I

„I shivered in the knowledge of the futility of all ambition.“

— William Styron
Context: I shivered in the knowledge of the futility of all ambition. My mouth was sour with the yellow recollection of death and blood-smeared fields and walls. I watched the girl slip away, vanish without a hand laid upon her. Who knows but whether we were not doomed to lose. I know nothing any longer. Nothing. Did I really wish to vouchsafe a life for the one that I had taken? Part III : Study War

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„In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent.“

— William Styron
Context: There is a region in the experience of pain where the certainty of alleviation often permits superhuman endurance. We learn to live with pain in varying degrees daily, or over longer periods of time, and we are more often than not mercifully free of it. When we endure severe discomfort of a physical nature our conditioning has taught us since childhood to make accommodations to the pain’s demands — o accept it, whether pluckily or whimpering and complaining, according to our personal degree of stoicism, but in any case to accept it. Except in intractable terminal pain, there is almost always some form of relief; we look forward to that alleviation, whether it be through sleep or Tylenol or self-hypnosis or a change of posture or, most often, through the body’s capacity for healing itself, and we embrace this eventual respite as the natural reward we receive for having been, temporarily, such good sports and doughty sufferers, such optimistic cheerleaders for life at heart. In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying — or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity — but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one's bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. VI

„One does not abandon, even briefly, one's bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes.“

— William Styron
Context: There is a region in the experience of pain where the certainty of alleviation often permits superhuman endurance. We learn to live with pain in varying degrees daily, or over longer periods of time, and we are more often than not mercifully free of it. When we endure severe discomfort of a physical nature our conditioning has taught us since childhood to make accommodations to the pain’s demands — o accept it, whether pluckily or whimpering and complaining, according to our personal degree of stoicism, but in any case to accept it. Except in intractable terminal pain, there is almost always some form of relief; we look forward to that alleviation, whether it be through sleep or Tylenol or self-hypnosis or a change of posture or, most often, through the body’s capacity for healing itself, and we embrace this eventual respite as the natural reward we receive for having been, temporarily, such good sports and doughty sufferers, such optimistic cheerleaders for life at heart. In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying — or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity — but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one's bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. VI

„Surely mankind has yet to be born. Surely this is true!“

— William Styron
Context: “Surely mankind has yet to be born. Surely this is true! For only something blind and uncomprehending could exist in such a mean conjunction with its own flesh, its own kind. How else account for such faltering, clumsy, hateful cruelty? Even the possums and the skunks know better! Even the weasels and the meadow mice have a natural regard for their own blood and kin. Only the insects are low enough to do the low things that people do — like those ants that swarm on poplars in the summertime, greedily husbanding little green aphids for the honeydew they secrete. Yes, it could be that mankind has yet to be born. Ah, what bitter tears God must weep at the sight of the things that men do to other men!” He broke off then and I saw him shake his head convulsively, his voice a sudden cry: “In the name of money! Money! ” Part II : Old Times Past : Voices, Dreams, Recollections

„When I was a young writer there had been a stage where Camus, almost more than any other contemporary literary figure, radically set the tone for my own view of life and history.“

— William Styron
Context: When I was a young writer there had been a stage where Camus, almost more than any other contemporary literary figure, radically set the tone for my own view of life and history. I read his novel The Stranger somewhat later than I should have — I was in my early thirties — but after finishing it I received the stab of recognition that proceeds from reading the work of a writer who has wedded moral passion to a style of great beauty and whose unblinking vision is capable of frightening the soul to its marrow. The cosmic loneliness of Meursault, the hero of that novel, so haunted me that when I set out to write The Confessions of Nat Turner I was impelled to use Camus’s device of having the story flow from the point of view of a narrator isolated in his jail cell during the hours before his execution. For me there was a spiritual connection between Meursault’s frigid solitude and the plight of Nat Turner — his rebel predecessor in history by a hundred years — likewise condemned and abandoned by man and God. Camus’s essay “Reflections on the Guillotine” is a virtually unique document, freighted with terrible and fiery logic; it is difficult to conceive of the most vengeful supporter of the death penalty retaining the same attitude after exposure to scathing truths expressed with such ardor and precision. I know my thinking was forever altered by that work, not only turning me around completely, convincing me of the essential barbarism of capital punishment, but establishing substantial claims on my conscience in regard to matters of responsibility at large. Camus was a great cleanser of my intellect, ridding me of countless sluggish ideas, and through some of the most unsettling pessimism I had ever encountered causing me to be aroused anew by life’s enigmatic promise. II

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