Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (born 16 October 1854, Westland Row, Dublin, Ireland – died 30 November 1900, Paris, France) was an Irish wit, poet, and dramatist. As a dramatist, many of Wilde’s plays were well received including his satirical comedies Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), his most famous play. He is also the author of several fairy tales, critical essays, and other works of prose, as well as the iconic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (Ward, Lock and Co., 1891). Oscar Wilde is regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of the Victorian Era.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. I can resist everything except temptation. Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. I have nothing to declare except my genius. I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying. The truth is rarely pure and never simple. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it. The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself. There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it. Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise. Yes: I am a dreamer. For 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. The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. You can never be overdressed or overeducated. Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. Live life with no excuses and travel with no regret. A good friend will always stab you in the front. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear. Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood. Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them. Work is the curse of the drinking classes. It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit. My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s. I don't want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything. I am not young enough to know everything. How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being? Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes. To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life. A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing. The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation. Memory is the diary we all carry about with us. When a man says he has exhausted life one always knows life has exhausted him. We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. Hearts are made to be broken. The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between. Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power. When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is. Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance. Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
Oscar Wilde The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties. I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability. To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect. I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life. With freedom, flowers, books, and the moon, who could not be perfectly happy? It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating. Who, being loved, is poor?
Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.
Oscar Wilde All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. To define is to limit. Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship. I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them. I have no objection to anyone’s sex life as long as they don’t practice it in the street and frighten the horses. It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But... it is better to be good than to be ugly. A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing. One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry. When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life. I am too fond of reading books to care to write them. Ambition is the last refuge of the failure. Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed. Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic. Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping. We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell. Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend's success. As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied. Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects. Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement. Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong. Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not. No good deed goes unpunished. The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword! Oscar Wilde After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations. Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike. I like men who have a future and women who have a past. Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about. When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her except continue to love her. A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her. The world is a stage and the play is badly cast. Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious. Every woman is a rebel. Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable. Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast. Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different. Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company. 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.
Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
Oscar Wilde Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. There are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely-or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.