Unidentified participant: Mr. Faulkner, you would—do you prefer to create a mood rather than a plot when writing?
William Faulkner: I am simply writing about people. I have taken man in one of his amazing victories and have tried to put it down on paper. If it takes plot to do that, then I will—will borrow a plot from somebody. There ain’t but two or three plots, you know. [audience laughter] If—if it takes a mood, then I will hunt around to where somebody’s written the sort—in memory, I mean—where somebody has portrayed that mood, and I will borrow from him.
Unidentified participant: [Then] you are writing an emotion, not—?
William Faulkner: I’m writing about people. Man involved in the human dilemma, facing the problems bigger than he, whether he licks them or whether they lick him. But man as frail and fragile as he is, yet he will keep on trying to be brave and honest and compassionate, and that, to me, is very fine and very interesting, and that is the reason I think any writer writes. He’s not trying to write [style]. He’s not trying to—to uplift, to deliver a message. He is simply writing about a man in the infinite mutations of—of man’s capacity.