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QuoteBook: “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a worldwide-known novel by a famous Irish writer Oscar Wilde. By the way, it’s also the only published novel in his heritage. Today it is often recognized as the most successful piece of writing by Wilde: the book first brought out in 1890, was republished and translated a lot of…

QuoteBook: “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a worldwide-known novel by a famous Irish writer Oscar Wilde. By the way, it’s also the only published novel in his heritage. Today it is often recognized as the most successful piece of writing by Wilde: the book first brought out in 1890, was republished and translated a lot of times as well as transformed into about 30 film versions. The Picture of Dorian Gray presents an an intellectual-philosophical allegorical novel which also became on of the most controversial books of its time due to sarcasm and cynicism typical for Wilde’s style. Quotes and aphorisms from the novel are mostly actual even now, and I offer you to check it with a today’s issue of Bookmarin Quotebook: here I’ve collected over 30 snippets from the book both popular and little-known.

Life is a moment. There is no hereafter. So make it burn always with the hardest flame.

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The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

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

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Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.

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

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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.

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Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

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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.

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I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

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The commonest thing is delightful if only one hides it.

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When we are happy, we are always good, but when we are good, we are not always happy.

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You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.

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Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play… I tell you, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.

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I will not bare my soul to their shallow prying eyes. My heart shall never be put under their microscope.

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

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Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

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Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our intellects.

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What fire does not destroy, it hardens.

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Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

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Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.

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I asked the question for the best reason possible, for the only reason, indeed, that excuses anyone for asking any question – simple curiosity.

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People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. It is what I call the depth of generosity.

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She is all the great heroines of the world in one. She is more than an individual. I love her, and I must make her love me. I want to make Romeo jealous. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.

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It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also.

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Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion—these are the two things that govern us. And yet, I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream—I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal—to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself.

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Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are.

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When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy.

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We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.

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Poets are not so scrupulous as you are. They know how useful passion is for publication. Nowadays a broken heart will run to many editions.

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I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do. If a personality fascinates me, whatever mode of expression that personality selects is absolutely delightful to me.

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As for omens, there is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that.

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Actual life was chaos, but there was something terribly logical in the imagination. It was the imagination that set remorse to dog the feet of sin. It was the imagination that made each crime bear its misshapen brood. In the common world of fact the wicked were not punished, nor the good rewarded. Success was given to the strong, failure thrust upon the weak. That was all.

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