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.
  • ''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.
  • ''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.
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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.
  • ''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.
  • ''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.
  • ''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

Her Voice

THE wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,

Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun,--
It shall be, I said, for eternity
...

Read the full of Her Voice

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.

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