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'

Friday, November 11, 2011

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


The old man was dead…
He was stone, stone dead…
His eye would trouble me no more.

The night waned, and I worked hastily…

I dismembered the corpse… then I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings.
There was nothing to wash out – no stain of any kind – no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that.

It was four o’clock – still dark as midnight.
… there came a knocking at the door…

I went down to open it… for what had I now to fear?

There entered … three officers of the police.

A shriek had been heard…

I smiled, - for what had I to fear?

I took my visitors al lover the house. I led them… to his chamber…
In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest…
while I myself, in the audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot
beneath the corpse of the victim.

My manner had convinced them.
They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things.

But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone.
My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears…

The ringing became more distinct…
I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling…
But it continued and gained definitiveness…

The noise was within my ears.
The sound increased – and what could I do?

It was a low, dull, quick sound – much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton.

I gasped for breath…
I talked more quickly…

Why would they not be gone?

The noise steadily increate. Oh God! What could I do?

I foamed – I raved – I swore! I swung the chair…

But the noise grew louder – louder louder!

Was it possible they heard not?

Almighty God! – no, no! They heard! –
they suspected! – they knew!

they were making a mockery of my horror!
I felt that I must scream or die! – and now – again! hark! louder! louder! louder!


“Villains!” I shriek, “dissemble no more!...

… here, here!
– it is the beating of his hideous heart!”

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