“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, The Picture of Dorian Gray (via esotericallyarcane)
“For beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.”—Oscar Wilde, ‘The English Renaissance’ (via delicate-poison)
“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”—Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (via i-killed-the-prom-king)
“You silly Arthur! If you knew anything about … anything, which you don’t, you would know that I adore you. Every one in London knows it except you. It is a public scandal the way I adore you. I have been going about for the last six months telling the whole of society that I adore you. I wonder you consent to have anything to say to me. I have no character left at all. At least, I feel so happy that I am quite sure I have no character left at all.”—
Mabel Chiltern - An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde
If I could say exactly how I felt right now, this would be it. Oscar Wilde got it right with this one.
“Night after night have I sung of him, though I knew him not: night after night have I told his story to the stars, and now I see him”—The Nightingale and the Rose, Oscar Wilde (via allbetterthanmisery)
“The public has always, and in every age, been badly brought up. They are continually asking Art to be popular, to please their wants 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.”—Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism (via apleasurablemalady)
“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 Picture of Dorian Gray (via myfavoritelyricsandwords)
Fun Fact: Apparently Oscar Wilde was 6’3”, which in the 1870s would have been the equivalent of like 6’7”-6’9” tall. He was so ridiculously huge and awkward that one of his friends described him as looking like a “great white caterpillar.” That is all.
No letters passed between my brother and myself on my father’s death. It was as though the revelation of his continued existence was to remain a secret even between ourselves. But again Cyril was not so lucky as I was, for hes aw the announcement in the newspapers and heard it discussed by the older boys over the breakfast-table at Radley. At this time Robert Ross wrote a letter to us, care of the family solicitors. The letter was sent to my brother to answer, and I never saw it myself; indeed I never heard about it until after my brother’s death, when Ross showed me Cyril’s reply and gave me a copy of it. It must be remembered that my brother was only fifteen and a half at the time, and had over five years of bitterness behind him. His letter ran as follows:
Dear Mr. Ross,
Thank you so much for the kind letter you sent me. It was very kind of you to give the flowers for us. I am glad you say that he loved us. I hope that his death was truly penitent; I think he must have been if he joined the Catholic Church and my reverence for the Roman Church is heightened more than ever. It is hard for a young mind like mine to realise why all the sorrow should have come on us, especially so young. And I am here among many happy faces among boys who have never really known an hour of sorrow and I have to keep my sorrow to myself and have no one here to sympathise with me although I am sure my many friends would soon do so if they knew. But when I am solemn and do not join so much in their jokes they stir me up and chide me for my gloominess.
It is of course a long time since I saw father but all I do remember was when we lived happily together in London and how he would come and build brick houses for us in the nursery.
I only hope that it will be a lesson for me and prevent me from falling into the snares and pitfalls of this world. On Saturday I went up to London to see Mrs. Napier and came back on Sunday afternoon.
I first read of his death in a paper at breakfast and luckily one cannot realise so great a loss in cold print or I don’t know what I should have done….And yet the ordinary person reads without emotion and quite dispassionately.
I cannot put my thoughts into words, so I will end.
“The ugly and stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live— undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. They never bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it from alien hands. Your rank and wealth, Henry; my brains, such as they are— my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray’s good looks— we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.”—Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray (via amaracchia)
Out of curiosity, were you serious about wanting a transcript of that University letter? Because I have one more or less written up.
I was totes srs bsns ‘bout it guise!
Just kidding, but yes, I was being serious about it. I like to put the transcritption of each letter in the photo’s description, but sometimes I just can’t understand what the man wrote, that’s why I ask you, fellow Wildeans, for help.
“Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that makes me so nervous.”—Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (via groovyannie)
When he grew tired of playing he would keep us quiet by telling us fairy stories, or tales of adventure, of which he had a never ending supply. He was a great admirer of Jules Verne and Stevenson, and of Kipling in his more imaginative vein. The last present he gave me was The Jungle Book; he had already given me Treasure Island and Jules Verne’s Five Weeks In A Balloon, which were the first books I read through entirely by myself. He told us his own written fairy stories suitably adapted for our young minds, ad a great many others as well. There was one about the fairies who lived in great bottles of coloured water that chemists used to put in their windows, with lights behind them that made them take on all kinds of different shapes. The fairies came down from their bottles at night and played and danced and made pills in the empty shop. Cyril once asked him why he had tears in his eyes when he told us the story of The Selfish Giant, and he replied that really beautiful things always made him cry.
He told us about the family house at Moytura, where he was going to take us one day, and of the “great melancholy carp” in Lough Corib, that never moved from the bottom of the lough unless he called them with the Irish songs learnt from his father; and he would sing the songs to us. I do not think he sang very well, but to us he had the most beautiful voice in the world; there was one particular song, called Atha me in mu codladh, agus na duishe me, meaning I am asleep, and do not wake me, which I came across again when I was grown up and was trying to learn the Irish language myself. And he invented poems in prose for us which, though we may not have always understood their inner meaning, always held us spellbound. Many of these were never published, but he was constantly weaving them. When I came of age, I met a lady whom my father had known as a girl; she who had gone straight home after he had been fascinating her and some of her friends with his stories, and had written them down exactly as he had told them, so far as she could from memory. She gave me a a copy of what she had written, and I have put the stories at the end of this book, so that they shall not be lost.
My father lived in a world of his own; an artificial world, perhaps, but a world in which the only things that really mattered were art and beauty in all their forms. This gave him that horror of conventionality which destroyed him in the end.