list icon
  • from the picture of dorian gray, 1890:
    • "being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose i know."
    • "there is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. books are well written, or badly written. that is all.”
    • “live! live the wonderful life that is in you! let nothing be lost upon you. be always searching for new sensations. be afraid of nothing.”
    • "the tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young."
    • "moderation is a fatal thing. enough is as bad as a meal. more than enough is as good as a feast."
    • "faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect - simply a confession of failure."
  • from the soul of man under socialism, 1895:
    • "they are always asking a writer why he does not write like somebody else, or a painter why he does not paint like somebody else, quite oblivious of the fact that if either of them did anything of the kind he would cease to be an artist"
    • "the only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. change is the one quality we can predicate of it. the systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. the error of louis XIV was that he thought human nature would always be the same. the result of his error was the french revolution. it was an admirable result."
    • "the public has always, and in every age, been badly brought up. they are continually asking art to be popular, to please their want of taste, to flatter their absurd vanity, to tell them what they have been told before, to show them what they ought to be tired of seeing, to amuse them when they feel heavy after eating too much, and to distract their thoughts when they are wearied of their own stupidity. now art should never try to be popular. the public should try to make itself artistic. there is a very wide difference."
    • "with the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy individualism. nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things. one will live. to live is the rarest thing in the world. most people exist, that is all."
  • other:
    • "a sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it" (from de profundis, 1897)
    • "it's not whether i did it or not that's important, but whether people believed i did it". (his response when asked on his north american tour to explain reports that he had paraded down piccadilly in london carrying a lily, long hair flowing)
    • "consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." (the relation of dress to art, 1885)
    • "it is not wise to find symbols in everything that one sees. it makes life too full of terrors." (herod, from salome, 1891)
    • "pleasure is the only thing one should live for. nothing ages like happiness."
    • "true friends stab you in the front."
jan 25 2014 ∞
apr 22 2021 +