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, November 08, 2011

Happy, happy birthday Bram !

                 Bram Stoker

November 8, 1847 
April 20, 1912

Irish novelist and short story writer

‘Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!’

‘Welcome to my house. Come freely.
Go safely;
and leave something of the happiness you bring!’

‘I’m Dracula and I bid you welcome…’

‘His face was a strong -  a very strong – aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils; with lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples, but profusely elsewhere. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth; these protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years. For the rest, his ears were pale and at the tops extremely pointed; the chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm though thin. The general effect was one of extraordinary pallor.   The backs of his hands… seemed rather white and fine… they were coarse – broad, with squat fingers… there were hair in the centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine, and cut to a sharp point.
… I could not repress a shudder… his breath was rank… a horrible feeling of nausea came over me…’

‘Listen to them – the children of the night.
What music they make!’

I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear, I think strange things which I dare not confess to my own soul…’

‘I love the shade and the shadow…’

‘My very feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over that dreadful abyss, face down, with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings...’

‘… What manner of man is this, or what manner of creature is it in the semblance of man?’

‘… I raised the lid… and then I saw something which filled my very soul with horror. There lay the Count, but looking as if his youth had been half renewed, for the white hair and moustache were changed to dark iron-gray; the cheeks were fuller, and the white skin seemed ruby-red underneath; the mouth was redder than ever, for on the lips were gouts of fresh blood, which trickled from the corners of the mouth and ran over the chin and neck. Even the deep, burning eyes seemed set amongst swollen flesh, for the lids and pouches underneath were bloated. It seemed as if the whole awful creature were simply gorged with blood; he lay like a filthy leech, exhausted with his repletion… There was a mocking smile on the bloated face which seemed to drive me mad. This was the being I was helping to transfer to London, where, perhaps, for centuries to come he might, amongst its teeming millions, satiate his lust for blood, and create a new and ever-widening circle of semi-demons to batten on the helpless.
The very thought drove me mad.
A terrible desire came upon me
to rid the world of such
a monster…’

from ‘Dracula’, by Bram Stoker

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