O.Wilde, Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. (...)
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. (...)

No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. (...)
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.
When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself...

O. Wilde (1854-1900),
Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jane Austen, on her anniversary...

Dec. 16, 2010

Happy, happy birthday Jane!!!

Steventon,  Dec. 16, 1775 – Winchester, July 18, 1817

It is a truth universally acknowledged, 
that a single man in possession
of a good fortune, 
must be in want of a wife.

         Mr Bennet was so odd a
        mixture of quick parts,
        sarcastic humour, reserve,
        and caprice, that the
        experience of three and
        twenty years had been
        insufficient to make his
        wife understand
        his character.

                                                                  Her mind was less difficult to develop.
                                                            She was a woman of mean understanding,
                                                 little information, and uncertain temper.

            Mary wished to say something very sensible,
           but knew not how.

                                                       'Now, Kitty, you may cough as much as you chuse'

                 'You are dancing with the only
                  handsome girl in the room'

                                                            'She is tolerable, but not handsome enough
                                                             to tempt me'

     'Oh! that he had sprained his ankle in the first dance!'

                                                   'Mr Darcy is all politeness'

                                                              'My mind was more agreeable engaged.
                                                               I have been meditating on the very great
                                                               pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the
                                                               face of a pretty woman can bestow'

                               'My good opinion once lost is lost forever'

   'That is a failing indeed!
   Implacable resentment is a shade in a character.
   But you have chosen your fault well. - I really cannot
   laugh at it'

                                  'The person of whom I speak, is a gentleman and a stranger'

               'There is a mixture of servility and self-importance
               in his letter, which promises well. I am impatient
               to see him'

                       '... it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with
                       delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed
                     from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of a previous study?'

  'His cousin was as absurd as he had hoped'

                         Mr Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth - and
                         it was soon done'

                                                             'In his library he had been always sure of
                                                              leisure and tranquillity'

                                           ... they were dances of mortification. Mr Collins, awkward
                                           and solemn, apologising instead of of attending, and often
                                           moving wrong without being aware of it, gave her all the 
                                           shame and misery which a disagreeable partner for a
                                           couple of dances can give. the moment of her
                                           release from him was exstasy.                                         

'Excuse my interference. - It was kindly meant'

                                                'Lizzy, I insist upon your staying and hearing
                                                 Mr Collins'

                      'And now nothing remains for me but
                       to assure you in the most animated
                      language of the violence of my affection'

                                                    'I am perfectly serious in my refusal'

                                   'An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth.
                                    From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents.
                                    - Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry
                                    Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do'

     'I am not romantic you know. I never was'

                   'Miss Bingley's letter arrived, and put an end to doubt'

                           'All! - What, all five out at once? Very odd! - and you only the
                           second. - The younger ones out before the elder are married! -
                           Your younger sisters must be very young?'

                                               'Upon my word... you give your opinion very decidely
                                               for so young a person, - Pray, what is your age?'

'In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed.
You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you'

                                      'I have every reason in the world to think ill of you'

                                                         'And this... is your opinion of me!'

                                                              'You have said enough, madam. I perfectly
                                                               understand your feelings'ù

To Pemberley, therefore, they were to go.

                                 'And of this place... I might have been mistress!'

        'He is the best landlord, and the best master that ever lived'

Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of each
were overspread with the depest blush'

                                              And his behaviour, so strikingly altered, -what
                                             could it mean?

'Miss Bennet, do you know who I am?'

                       'I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet. I send no compliments
                       to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am most
                       seriously dispeased'

                                 'You are joking, Lizzy. This cannot be! - engaged to Mr Darcy!
                                 No, no, you shall not deceive me. I know it to be impossible'

  'Lizzy, what are you doing?
  Are you out of your senses,
  to be accepting this man?
  Have you not always hated him?'

                                'Good gracious! Lord bless me! only think! Dear me!
                                 Mr Darcy! Who would have thought it! And is it really
                                 true? Oh! my sweetest Lizzy! how rich and how great
                                 you will be! What pin-money, what jewels, what carriages
                                 you will have!'

                                                                                                          Jane Austen


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