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Oscar Wilde Quotes

Oscar Wilde

In a very ugly and sensible age, the arts borrow, not from life, but from each other.
Pen, Pencil and Poison, Oscar Wilde

Bad art is a great deal worse than no art at all.
House Decoration, Oscar Wilde

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Preface, Oscar Wilde

In spite of the roaring of the young lions at the Union, and the screaming of the rabbits in the home of the vivisector, in spite of Keble College, and the tramways, and the sporting prints, Oxford still remains the most beautiful thing in England, and nowhere else are life and art so exquisitely blended, so perfectly made one.
Oscar Wilde

For in some respects Dickens might be likened to those old sculptors of our Gothic cathedrals … whose art lacking sanity was therefore incomplete. Yet they at least knew the limitations of their art, while Dickens never knew the limitations of his. When he tries to be serious, he only succeeds in being dull, when he aims at truth, he merely reaches platitude.
A New Book on Dickens, Oscar Wilde

From childhood, the husband has been brought up on the most elaborate fetch-and-carry system, and his reverence for the sex has a touch of compulsory chivalry about it; while the wife exercises an absolute despotism, based upon female assertion, and tempered by womanly charm.
The American Man, Oscar Wilde

I don’t think I like American inventions, Arthur. I am quite sure I don’t. I read some American novels lately, and they were quite nonsensical.
Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, Oscar Wilde

Pleasure is Nature’s test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment.
The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Oscar Wilde

The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Preface, Oscar Wilde

American youths are pale and precocious, or sallow and supercilious, but American girls are pretty and charming – little oases of pretty unreasonableness in a vast desert of practical common-sense.
Impressions of America, Oscar Wilde

A family is a terrible incumbrance, especially when one is not married.
Vera, or The Nihilists, Oscar Wilde

The body is hideous. It is like the body of a leper, It is like a plastered wall where vipers have crawled.
Salome, Oscar Wilde

The only thing that can console one for being poor is extravagance. The only thing that can console one for being rich is economy.
A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated, Oscar Wilde

There is something tragic about the enormous number of young men there are in England at the present moment who start life with perfect profiles, and end by adopting some useful profession.
Phrases and Philosophies for the use of the Young, Oscar Wilde

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.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Preface, Oscar Wilde