“1950 Nobel Prize Banquet” Speech Summary, Text, & Analysis

February 20, 2023

4 min read

Faulkner's 1950 Nobel Prize Banquet speech celebrated the power of literature to foster understanding and compassion, leaving a lasting impact. Check out our “1950 Nobel Prize Banquet" speech summary, text, and analysis.

In 1950, William Faulkner gave a moving speech at the Nobel Prize Banquet. Faulkner’s tribute to literature’s power remains influential. Below is the iconic “1950 Nobel Prize Banquet” Speech Summary, Text, & Analysis.

“1950 Nobel Prize Banquet” Speech Summary

We ran Faulkner’s speech through Yoodli, the free AI powered speech coaching platform. You can get started at www.yoodli.ai and view results for Faulkner here. Here’s a summary of his speech:

  • This award has been received not as an individual, but as recognition of the speaker’s work.
  • The human spirit is capable of producing something new and meaningful from pain and effort.
  • Our current tragedy is the pervasive fear of physical destruction.
  • This has led to a forgetting of the “problems of the human heart and conflict with itself”.
  • Only writing about such problems is worth the effort and anguish that goes into it.
  • The speaker encourages young people to confront these issues and to produce writing that shows love, honor, pity, pride, compassion and sacrifice.
  • The speaker declines to accept the end of hope, and insists that even when doom has struck, the speaker’s voice will still be heard.

1950 Nobel Prize Banquet” Speech Text

The Yoodli AI-powered speech coach provides this “1950 Nobel Prize Banquet ” speech text:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work. The life breaks in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory but but to make out of the material of the human spirit, something which was not there before. So that this award is on the mind in trust. It will not be hard to find a dedication for the money part of it.

Com commensurate with purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to go to the same, do the same with the acclaim two by making using this fine moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and young women already dedicated to the same anguish and trave, among whom is one who may someday stand by stood this afternoon. 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’s only one question, when will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man, young woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart and conflict with itself. Which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about. Worth the agony and the sweat. He must line them again.

He must teach himself that the basis of all things is to be afraid and teaching him to himself that forget forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old heritage and truths of the heart, the old universal truths looking lacking, which in his story is ephemeral and doom. Love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice until he does so, he lives under a case he writes, not a law, but have lost of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and worst of all, without Pia, compassion his grief, breathe on new universal bones, leaving those scars.

He writes, not of the heart but clans until he releases realign these things will write. As though he stood among and watched the end of math, I decline to accept the end of math. It is easy enough to say that man is iMorph accepted cause he must still endures that when the last bong of doom has clanged and faded from the last west rock, hang, hanging, godless and the last red and dying evening that evening.

Then there will still be one more sound that of his CUNY in exhaustible voice still talking."

1950 Nobel Prize Banquet” Speech Analysis

Faulkner’s Nobel Prize Banquet speech employed poetic language and emotional intensity. We ran this speech through Yoodli’s AI-powered speech coach, and got back an analysis on various aspects of word choice and delivery. You can view the full results here.

Word Choice

Faulkner’s Nobel Prize Banquet speech used vivid imagery to celebrate the power of literature. Yoodli’s analysis reflects this, showing no filler words, very few weak words (just 1), and that some of his top key words were “young”, “heart”, “human”, and “man.”


In the Delivery category, Yoodli provides scores on Centering, Pacing, Pauses, and Eye Contact. The highlight metric to look at here is pace. Faulkner spoke in very relaxed manner, at about 154 words per minute.

Wrapping Up

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