Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 1.
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  • ''One can survive anything these days, except death, and live down anything except a good reputation.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 1 (1891). Lord Henry uttered similar sentiments in Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 19.
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  • ''The English public, as a mass, takes no interest in a work of art until it is told that the work in question is immoral.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. St. James's Gazette (London, June 27, 1890). Letter to the editor, answering criticisms leveled at his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
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  • ''I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lady Bracknell, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 1.
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  • ''The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 1 (1893).
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  • ''No publisher should ever express an opinion on the value of what he publishes. That is a matter entirely for the literary critic to decide.... I can quite understand how any ordinary critic would be strongly prejudiced against a work that was accompanied by a premature and unnecessary panegyric from the publisher. A publisher is simply a useful middle-man. It is not for him to anticipate the verdict of criticism.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Letter to the editor. St. James's Gazette (London, June 30, 1890).
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  • ''Oh, duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 2.
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  • ''To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune ... to lose both seems like carelessness.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lady Bracknell, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 1.
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  • ''The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 3.
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  • ''The American father ... is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "The American Invasion," Court and Society Review (London, March 23, 1887).
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Best Poem of Oscar Wilde

Amor Intellectualis

OFT have we trod the vales of Castaly
And heard sweet notes of sylvan music blown
From antique reeds to common folk unknown:
And often launched our bark upon that sea
Which the nine Muses hold in empery,
And ploughed free furrows through the wave and foam,
Nor spread reluctant sail for more safe home
Till we had freighted well our argosy.
Of which despoilèd treasures these remain,
Sordello's passion, and the honied line
Of young Endymion, ...

Read the full of Amor Intellectualis

Quantum Mutata

THERE was a time in Europe long ago
When no man died for freedom anywhere,
But England's lion leaping from its lair
Laid hands on the oppressor! it was so
While England could a great Republic show.
Witness the men of Piedmont, chiefest care
Of Cromwell, when with impotent despair
The Pontiff in his painted portico
Trembled before our stern ambassadors.