Celebrating Google.com’s tribute to the epigrammatist extraordinaire, Oscar Wilde. Today is the 156th birthday of the author of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, the gothic masterpiece of horror and suspense.
Welcome to the first of my posts on ‘Famous Quotes’. This ongoing series will look at individual authors and their famous words of wisdom. And what better way to start off the series than on the birthday of Oscar Wilde; the master of witticisms, double-entendres and epigrams. I’d like to share some of his most celebrated quotes and a few facts about the life of the most flamboyant literary genius to have ever lived.
“Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned.”
“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”
“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” “A poet can survive everything but a misprint.” “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” “I can resist anything but temptation.” “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.” “A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.” “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.”
There it is, just a small selection of Wilde’s genius. There were so many more I’d like to have included, but it would make the list too long to read. Choosing a favourite out of these is tough work, but I’d say it would be ‘I can resist everything but temptation’. What’s yours?
Adi Alsaid said:
I like “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
My copy of Dorian Gray is so marked up it’s barely legible any more – I swear, it’s like every second sentence is a quotable quote 🙂
Great collection, it definitely brightened up my morning.
Adi – He just kind of sums it up all in one sentence. You can’t argue with the man, our lives are a kind of mimicry. We always end up aping one person or another. I think there was another quote where he said, ‘Just be yourself, everyone else is taken’. I like that one better.
friande – Glad to know I put a smile on someone’s face. Dorian Gray stands out as one of the most vivid books I’ve ever read. The opening paragraphs are almost perfect.
I love Oscar Wilde. I agree with thefriande, every single book of his shelters hundreds of amazing quotes. Out of these, my favorites would be:
“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.”
“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” This one is so true. I always do similar things when I write.
I love all those quote, especially ‘a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing’
I’ve been eyeing Dorian Gray for the last few months but have doubt in buying it…I shouldn’t have that doubt. Will buy it as soon as I have finished at least half my TBR
Carolina – Hi there! He certainly was special. The quote about the poem is so true. How often have I done that? Too many times. That just goes to show that people often get it right the first time.
Novroz – I hope you get your TBR pile down soon!
Wonderful quotes. My favorite, I think (besides the ones other people mentioned), is “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” Thanks for sharing.
There is so much hidden in that little sentence Kimberly. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.