Wednesday, May 31, 2006 05/31/06-Oscar Wilde

In today's excerpt--the Irish playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). One of the most successful playwrights of Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day, he suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned after being convicted in a notorious trial for homosexual acts . A list of his most famous works would include The Picture of Dorian Gray, a novel, The Importance of Being Earnest, a play, and The Ballad of Reading Gaol, a poem. As evidenced here, he was known for his rapier wit:

"The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself."

"When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers." An Ideal Husband, 1893

"I can resist anything but temptation." Lady Windermere's Fan, Act I, 1892

"Only the shallow know themselves." Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, 1882

"There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel no one else has the right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution." The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple." The Importance of Being Earnest, Act I, 1895

"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."


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