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'

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oscar Wilde, quotations


Oscar Wilde

1854 - 1900

Irish dramatist,
novelist and poet

‘Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace’

‘One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards’

‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination’

‘Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much’

‘Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing’

‘Biography lends to death a new terror’

‘Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative’

‘Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter’

‘Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months’

‘I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again’

‘If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you’

‘Illusion is the first of all pleasures’

‘To live is the rarest thing on the world. Most people exist, that is all’

‘The book that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame’

‘I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there’

‘Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future’

‘A cynic man is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing’

‘Who, being loved, is poor?

‘You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear’

‘With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?’

‘I have nothing to declare except my genius’


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