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Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Quotations

  • ''I have nothing to declare except my genius.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Attributed in Oscar Wilde, ch. 6, Richard Ellman (1987). Remark at the New York Customs, Jan. 3, 1882, though there is no contemporary evidence for it.
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  • ''For an artist to marry his model is as fatal as for a gourmet to marry his cook: the one gets no sittings, and the other gets no dinners.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "London Models," English Illustrated Magazine (London, Jan. 1889).
  • ''The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Miss Prism, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 2 (1895). Speaking of her own novel.
  • ''The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, ch. 1 (1891).
  • ''By persistently remaining single, a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation. Men should be more careful.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Miss Prism, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 2.
  • ''The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Basil Hallward, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 1 (1891).
  • ''It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Darlington, in Lady Windermere's Fan, act 1 (1893).
  • ''Memory ... is the diary that we all carry about with us.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Miss Prism, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 2.
  • ''Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is usually Judas who writes the biography.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). The Butterfly's Boswell, Court and Society Review (London, April 20, 1887). also in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, in Intentions (1891).
  • ''Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Basil Hallward, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 1 (1891).

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Santa Decca

THE Gods are dead: no longer do we bring
To grey-eyed Pallas crowns of olive-leaves!
Demeter's child no more hath tithe of sheaves,
And in the noon the careless shepherds sing,
For Pan is dead, and all the wantoning
By secret glade and devious haunt is o'er:
Young Hylas seeks the water-springs no more;
Great Pan is dead, and Mary's Son is King.

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