The part of [Oscar] Wilde was exceptionally important to me; the man, his achievements, his wisdom, but his downfall, his disgrace and the tragic and bitter end to it have always fascinated, appalled and attracted me since childhood. It was he who first in some measure vindicated my sexuality.
For me, hipsterism is for one to appropriate the codes of a social class or another milieu that wasn't theirs originally, in order to define their personality through something different and unique. Which is why a lot of hipsters live downtown, and they're dressed as farmers. Then you have the Oscar Wilde hipster: the dandy.
It's certainly true that I was brought up in that British amateur tradition, the one which always held that if you were reasonably good at cricket, knew one or two Latin texts and a few zingy Oscar Wilde quotes for dinner parties, you were pretty much ready to go and run some outpost in Hindustan.
One of the traps of adolescence is the sort of paranoid resentment that somehow you're never going to match up and that everybody else's life is going to be better and finer and fuller. That everyone else attended some secret lesson in which how to live was taught and you had a dental appointment that day, or you were somehow not invited. And the point of great writers like Wilde is that they make that invitation to you.
history only existed in the human mind, subject to endless revision. 'each man kills the thing he loves'-Oscar Wilde. You kill it before it kills you, but he was wrong. you killed it by accident. thinking you were doing something else. shattering, when all you wanted to do was keep it safe.
For me, a male image that I'm really moved by is somewhere between of Oscar Wilde type of a male: the fop, the long hair, the suits, too witty for his own good, incredibly smart, scathingly funny - all that. But then my other ideal is more like the Buddhist monk - the shaved head, actually someone who sublimates their sexuality.
What other developed democracy has such a ridiculous and squalid history of intolerance? From the imprisonment and roasting of heretics, witches and poachers, to the censorship of literature, art and television: from St Alban through Wilde, Joyce and Lawrence I think we can point with pride to as grim a catalogue of intemperate, bigoted repression as any nation on earth...
Reading the very best writers""let us say Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Tolstoy""is not going to make us better citizens. Art is perfectly useless, according to the sublime Oscar Wilde, who was right about everything. He also told us that all bad poetry is sincere. Had I the power to do so, I would command that these words be engraved above every gate at every university, so that each student might ponder the splendor of the insight.
The sad fact is that I love Dickens and Donne and Keats and Eliot and Forster and Conrad and Fitzgerald and Kafka and Wilde and Orwell and Waugh and Marvell and Greene and Sterne and Shakespeare and Webster and Swift and Yeats and Joyce and Hardy, really, really love them. It's just that they don't love me back.
A ready means of being cherished by the English is to adopt the simple expedient of living a long time. I have little doubt that if, say, Oscar Wilde had lived into his nineties, instead of dying in his forties, he would have been considered a benign, distinguished figure suitable to preside at a school prize-giving or to instruct and exhort scout masters at their jamborees. He might even have been knighted.
I don't like ordinary girls. But a girl who would kill a guy to make him hers and then kiss his still-warm lips... a girl like Oscar Wilde's Salome They drive me crazy. Like Kiyohime turning into a snake to chase her man or the grocery girl Oshichi who set fire to a building just to see hers one more time. I want to be loved like that be obsessed over be hated.
We wish we could have been there for you. We didn't have many role models of our own--we latched on to the foolish love of Oscar Wilde and the well-versed longing of Walt Whitman because nobody else was there to show us an untortured path. We were going to be your role models. We were going to give you art and music and confidence and shelter and a much better world. Those who survived lived to do this. But we haven't been there for you. We've been here. Watching as you become the role models.
I flutter my eyes ladylike. "I know the green fairy is absinthe, but what's the white angel?" "Cocaine. Wilde, by the way frequents this cafe. He claims he once saw an angel fluttering over the square. I image what he saw flying was one of the stone angels from atop the Opera across the street. No doubt he saw the image after partaking of cocaine and absinthe.
Uh... I've seen you around here a couple of times, ' he said again, staring at the book I held. ''I had come face to face with some one whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself.'' I stared. 'What?' His lopsided grin spread into a full one, and it felt like someone had socked me in the chest. 'It's a quote from Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray. It's one of my favorite books.' Hot and smart. And apparently he was a real-life boy.
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Money as such is, as Oscar Wilde said, perfectly useless. You can't eat it, drink it, shelter yourself from the cold with it, wear it, or make love with it unless deeply disturbed. In and of itself, it has no emotions, no mind, and no conscience. It doesn't put out flowers or have children, and it makes a lousy pet. It has meaning only when it circulates, and is exchanged for other things; and money doesn't do that for itself. People do that, using money as a symbolic token.
When I was young, we thought that Oscar Wilde was a great nobleman who had thrown his life away for love. Nothing could be less true. He slept with East Enders who were procured for him by Lord Alfred Douglas. He knew them only 'in Braille' - the curtains were never drawn back in the rooms in Oxford where he met those boys. It was the most sordid life you can imagine. And he was bleating about love and dragging the fair name of Mr. Plato into the trial - after a life like that?
It completely sickens me what our culture is doing to women. Last week I wore a big top and little shorts and a bunch of stuff came out saying I was without pants. 'The No-Pants Look,' it said. And I didn't go out without pants, I had shorts on... If Olivia Wilde had gone to a party with a big silky top and little shorts she might have been told her outfit was cute... What it was really: 'Why did you show us your thighs'?
I want to be able to do anything with words: handle slashing, flaming descriptions like Wells, and use the paradox with the clarity of Samuel Butler, the breadth of Bernard Shaw and the wit of Oscar Wilde, I want to do the wide sultry heavens of Conrad, the rolled-gold sundowns and crazy-quilt skies of Hitchens and Kipling as well as the pastel dawns and twilights of Chesterton. All that is by way of example. As a matter of fact I am a professed literary thief, hot after the best methods of every writer in my generation.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
My toils in the quotation field have led me to formulate two or three laws about the way people use and abuse quotations. My first law is: When in doubt, ascribe all quotations to Bernard Shaw - which I don't mean to be taken literally, but as a general observation of the habit people have of attaching remarks to the nearest obvious speaker. Churchill, Wilde, Orson Welles and Alexander Woollcott are other useful figures upon whom to father remarks when you don't know who really said them.
Heather Badcock meant no harm. She never did mean harm, but there is no doubt that people like Heather Badcock (and like my old friend Alison Wilde), are capable of doing a lot of harm because they lack - not kindness, they have kindness - but any real consideration for the way their actions may affect other people. She though always of what an action meant to her, never sparing a thought to what it might mean to somebody else.
Oscar Wilde quite rightly said, 'All art is useless'. And that may sound as if that means it's something not worth supporting. But if you actually think about it, the things that matter in life are useless. Love is useless. Wine is useless. Art is the love and wine of life. It is the extra, without which life is not worth living.
By the respectable terms of the modern literary profession, novelists do not preach. And, in fact, there has probably not been a less respectable novelist among the irrefutably enduring writers of our time than Ayn Rand: philosopher queen of the best-seller lists in the forties and fifties, cult phenomenon and nationally declared threat to public morality in the sixties, guru to the Libertarians and to White House economic policy in the seventies, and a continuing exemplar or Wilde's tragic observation that more than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read.
Is a picture really worth a thousand words? What thousand words? A thousand words from a lunatic, or a thousand words from Nietzsche? Actually, Nietzsche was a lunatic, but you see my point. What about a thousand words from a rambler vs. 500 words from Mark Twain? He could say the same thing quicker and with more force than almost any other writer. One thousand words from Ginsberg are not even worth one from Wilde. It's wild to declare the equivalency of any picture with any army of 1, 000 words. Words from a writer like Wordsworth make you appreciate what words are worth.
Mother made sure her little kids were subjected to a strict routine. We were given a timetable which covered our every waking moment, copies of which were posted by our bedside, in the sitting room and in the kitchen. Story hour meant that mother would read us novels and short stories by Guy de Maupassant, Oscar Wilde and Edmondo de Amicis. Soon we graduated to Tolstoy, Gogol and Turgenev. She read them to us in Chinese and I never realised until much later that the writers wrote them in different European languages. Comics were absolutely forbidden and so were Enid Blyton adventures and pop music... Lee Cyn and I soon went to a primary school nearby... After mother's rigorous timetable, school became fun and easy-going.
Ang Swee Chai
Ik stak een straat eerder door naar 4th Avenue, omdat ik niet langs de kerk wilde lopen; er zat soms een stenen waterspuwer op die me de stuipen op het lijf joeg. Het was niet die waterspuwer zelf die ik eng vond, maar het was dat "soms" waar ik de zenuwen van kreeg. Waterspuwers zijn beeldhouwwerkjes, ze horen deel uit te maken van een gebouw. Als er een zit, hoort die daar altijd te zitten en niet af en toe.
WILDE: Oh - Bosie! (He weeps.) I have to go back to him, you know. Robbie will be furious but it can't be helped. The betrayal of one's friends is a bagatelle in the stakes of love, but the betrayal of oneself is a lifelong regret. Bosie is what became of me. He is spoiled, vindictive, utterly selfish and not very talented, but these are merely the facts. The truth is he was Hyacinth when Apollo loved him, he is ivory and gold, from his red rose-leaf lips comes music that fills me with joy, he is the only one who understands me. 'Even as a teething child throbs with ferment, so does the soul of him who gazes upon the boy's beauty; he can neither sleep at night nor keep still by day, ' and a lot more besides, but before Plato could describe love, the loved one had to be invented. We would never love anybody if we could see past our invention. Bosie is my creation, my poem. In the mirror of invention, love discovered itself. Then we saw what we had made - the piece of ice in the fist you cannot hold or let go. (He weeps.)
In de loop van de vijf, zes jaar dat ik in Rusland verbleef, ben ik een paar keer door diverse organisaties en individuen gedood dan wel doodverklaard. Teruggekeerd naar het vaderland kwam ik erachter dat ik drie keer ben opgehangen, twee keer doodgeschoten en een keer door woeste Kirgizische opstandelingen bij het Ysykke¶l-meertje ben gevierendeeld. Ten slotte ben ik definitief doodgestoken in een wilde ruzie met dronken matrozen in een van de vele havenkroegjes van Odessa. Dit laatste lijkt mij ook het meest waarschijnlijk.
Ik wilde niet aan haar denken en me op de mantra concentreren: MAAA, zei ik bij het inademenen en OEEMMM bij het uitademen. MAAA... het was vast al bijna twee uur... OEEMMM. MAAA... je zou het niet zeggen, maar die lotushouding zat niet echt lekker... OEEMMM. MAAAA... als ik Jakob en Janus eens over Ticha vertelde? OEEMMMM. Nee, eerst maar eens zien wat er ging gebeuren... MAAAA... wat rook die wierook vreselijk... OEEMMM. MAAA... komt Ticha alleen of neemt ze een paar van die wezens mee met wie ze werkt? OEEMMM. MAAAA... au, au, au ik heb kramp in mijn rechterbeen!
Creators of literary fairy tales from the 17th-century onward include writers whose works are still widely read today: Charles Perrault (17th-century France), Hans Christian Andersen (19th-century Denmark), George Macdonald and Oscar Wilde (19th-century England). The Brothers Grimm (19th-century Germany) blurred the line between oral and literary tales by presenting their German "household tales" as though they came straight from the mouths of peasants, though in fact they revised these stories to better reflect their own Protestant ethics. It is interesting to note that these canonized writers are all men, since this is a reversal from the oral storytelling tradition, historically dominated by women. Indeed, Straparola, Basile, Perrault, and even the Brothers Grimm made no secret of the fact that their source material came largely or entirely from women storytellers. Yet we are left with the impression that women dropped out of the history of fairy tales once they became a literary form, existing only in the background as an anonymous old peasant called Mother Goose.
Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '. Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice. I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about.
Many moral advances have taken the form of a shift in sensibilities that made an action seem more ridiculous than sinful, such as dueling, bullfighting, and jingoistic war. And many effective social critics, such as Swift, Johnson, Voltaire, Twain, Oscar Wilde, Bertrand Russell, Tom Lehrer, and George Carlin have been smart-ass comedians rather than thundering prophets. What in our psychology allows the joke to be mightier than the sword? Humor works by confronting an audience with an incongruity, which may be resolved by switching to another frame of reference. And in that alternative frame of reference, the butt of the joke occupies a lowly or undignified status... Humor with a political or moral agenda can stealthily challenge a relational model that is second nature to an audience by forcing them to see that it leads to consequences that the rest of their minds recognize as absurd... According to the 18th-century writer Mary Wortley Montagu, 'Satire should, like a polished razor keen / Wound with touch that's scarcely felt or seen.' But satire is seldom polished that keenly, and the butts of a joke may be all too aware of the subversive power of humor. They may react with a rage that is stoked by the intentional insult to a sacred value, the deflation of their dignity, and a realization that laughter indicates common knowledge of both. The lethal riots in 2005 provoked by the editorial cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten (for example, one showing Muhammad in heaven greeting newly arrived suicide bombers with 'Stop, we have run out of virgins!') show that when it comes to the deliberate undermining of a sacred relational model, humor is no laughing matter. (pp. 633-634)