Friday, June 26, 2009

The Importance of Oscar Wilde

"This wallpaper is dreadful, one of us will have to go." Those are rumored to be Oscar Wilde's last words. Even to the end he was a man of wit. Here are a few other words of wit and wisdom from one of the greats.
  • "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."
  • "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."
  • "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
  • "Be Yourself; everyone else is already taken."
  • "Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
  • "You can never be overdressed or overeducated."
  • "I am not young enough to know everything."
  • "A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing."
  • "A good friend will always stab you in the front."
  • "I never travel without my diary. One must always have something sensational to read on the train."
  • "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."
  • "I can resist anything, except temptation."
  • "Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future."
  • "Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live."
  • "I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best."
  • "A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction."
  • "In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."
  • "There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing."
  • "Misfortunes one can endure--they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one's own faults--ah!--there is the sting of life."
I get a kick out of Wilde's plays, in particular. In summer school, we read The Importance of Being Earnest --a punny play full of misunderstanding, deception, absurdity, and laughter. Oh, and love. In typical comedic form, it all ends well. There are many free downloads or online versions of the play available. You must check it out.

The 2002 film with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth is most excellent, as well. While it does stray some from the order of events in the play, the director does a fine job of capturing the spirit of Wilde even adding some nice, tattooed touches. :) Read it, watch it--preferably in that order--you won't be disappointed.

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