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Quotations From OSCAR WILDE

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  • In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1895) Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891).
  • There is something tragic about the enormous number of young men there are in England at the present moment who start life with perfect profiles, and end by adopting some useful profession.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, Chameleon (London, December 1894).

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  • I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 3 (1891).
  • The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Chameleon (London, Dec. 1894). Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966).

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  • It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 8 (1891).

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  • Conversation should touch everything, but should concentrate itself on nothing.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, published in Intentions (1891).
  • There is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 17 (1891).

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  • The fact is, the public make use of the classics of a country as a means of checking the progress of Art. They degrade the classics into authorities. They use them as bludgeons for preventing the free expression of Beauty in new forms.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. (repr. 1895). The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891).

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