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Quotes by

Oscar Wilde

1854-1900 ,  Irish writer
Oscar WildeIrish poet, and dramatist whose reputation rests on his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and on his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).
He was a spokesman for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art’s sake, and he was the object of celebrated civil and criminal suits involving homosexuality and ending in his imprisonment (1895–97).
He is remembered also for his brilliant epigrams.

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Experience is merely the name men give to their mistakes.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

Men always want to be a woman’s first love. What women like is to be a man’s last romance.

I can resist anything except temptation.

Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.

Journalism justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarist.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellect.

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.

A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.

A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

All art is immoral.

All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.

An excellent man: he has no enemies, and none of his friends like him.

on George Bernard Shaw

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Death is the only thing that ever terrifies me. I hate it. One can survive everything nowadays except that.

Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.

Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.

Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

Give me the luxuries and I can dispense with the necessities.

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible.

I have nothing to declare except my genius.

to Customs Officials in New York, in 1881

I like men who have a future and women who have a past.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.

I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.

I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever.

In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.

Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.

Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary.

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.

No man is rich enough to buy back his own past.

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.

One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar.

One should always be in love. That's the reason one should never marry.

One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.

One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.

Only the shallow know themselves.

People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.

Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence.

Psychology is in its infancy, as a science. I hope in the interests of Art, it will always remain so.

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

The English country gentleman galloping after a fox: the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.

The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.

The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.

The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

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

The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.

The pure and simple Truth is rarely pure, and never simple.

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.

The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.

There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.

There is no sin except stupidity.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

Time is a waste of money.

To be really medieval one should have no body. To be really modern one should have no soul. To be really Greek one should have no clothes.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

True friends stab you in the front.

Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

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.

Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?

Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.

Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them.

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.

Quotes in Verse

For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.

Funny Quotes

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.


Similar sources

 George Orwell

 G. K. Chesterton

 Somerset Maugham

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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou