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'

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Tell-Tale Heart I, E. A. Poe


True! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and I am;
but will you say that I am mad?

The disease had sharpened my senses – not destroyed – not dulled them.
Above all was the sense of hearing acute.

How then, am I mad?

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain;
but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night.

Object there was none
Passion there was none.
I loved the old man.
He had never wronged me.
He had never given me insult
For his gold I had no desire.

I think it was his eye!

Yes, it was this!

One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture – a pale blue eye, with a film over it.

Whenever it fall upon me, my blood ran cold; and so… very gradually… I made up my mind to … rid myself of the eye forever.

You fancy me mad.

But you should have seen me… how wisely I proceeded.

Every night I turned the latch of his door and opened it…
and then I thrust in my head… cunningly I thrust it in!
I moved it slowly – very, very slowly,
so that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep…

would a madman have been so wise as this?

And then I undid the lantern cautiously…
just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye.
And this I did for seven long nights… 
but I found the eye always closed…

his Evil Eye.

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