Monday, December 17, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

William Faulkner

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There were many things I could do for two or three days and earn enough money to live on for the rest of the month. By temperament Iím a vagabond and a tramp. I donít want money badly enough to work for it. In my opinion itís a shame that there is so much work in the world. One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You canít eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours ó all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.

 
William Faulkner

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ďOne must work for a living in order to live-thatís just the way life is-itís the shabby side of existence. We sleep seven hours out of twenty-four; its wasted time, but it has to be that way. We work five hours out of the twenty-four; it is wasted time, but it has to be that way. By working five hours, a person has his livelihood, and when he has that he begins to live. Now, a personís work should preferably be as boring and meaningless as possible, just so he has his livelihood from it. If he has a special talent, he should never commit the sin against it of making it his source of income. No, he coddles his talent; he possesses it for its own sake; he has even greater joy from it than a mother from her child. He cultivates it; he develops it for twelve hours of the day, sleeps for seven hours, is a nonhuman for five, and thus life becomes quite bearable, even quite beautiful, because working five hours is not so bad, inasmuch as, since a personís thoughts are never on the work, he hoards his energies for the pursuit of his delight.Ē Our hero is making no headway. For one thing, he has no special talent with which to fill the twelve hours at home; for another, he has already gained a more beautiful view of working, a view he is unwilling to give up. So he probably will decide to seek help from the ethicist again. The latter is very brief. ďIt is every human beingís duty to have a calling.Ē More he cannot say, because the ethical as such is always abstract, and thereís no abstract calling for all human beings. On the contrary, he presupposes that each person has a particular calling. Which calling our hero should choose, the ethicist cannot tell him, because for that a detailed knowledge of the esthetic aspects of his whole personality is required, and even if the ethicist did have this knowledge, he would still refrain from choosing for him, because in that case he would indeed deny his own view of life. What the ethicist can teach him is that there is a calling for every human being and, when our hero has found this, that he is to choose it ethically.

 
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