The Critic as Artist Quotes

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The Critic as Artist The Critic as Artist by Oscar Wilde
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The Critic as Artist Quotes (showing 1-30 of 34)
“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“There is no sin except stupidity.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.”
Oscar Wilde, The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde
“We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“Cheap editions of great books may be delightful, but cheap editions of great men are absolutely detestable”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
tags: oscar, wit
“I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being misunderstood. Don't degrade me into the position of giving you useful information. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”
Oscar Wilde, The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde
tags: humor
“Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is usually Judas who writes the biography.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“It is because Humanity has never known where it was going that it has been able to find its way.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“The world is made by the singer for the dreamer.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being misunderstood.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“There is no mode of action, no form of emotion, that we do not share with the lower animals. It is only by language that we rise above them, or above each other - by language, which is the parent, and not the child, of thought.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“What is termed Sin is an essential element of progress. Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colourless.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“What are the unreal things, but the passions that once burned one like fire? What are the incredible things, but the things that one has faithfully believed? What are the improbable things? The things that one has done oneself. No, Ernest; life cheats us with shadows, like a puppet- master. We ask it for pleasure. It gives it to us, with bitterness and disappointment in its train. We come across some noble grief that we think will lend the purple dignity of tragedy to our days, but it passes away from us, and things less noble take its place, and on some grey windy dawn, or odorous eve of silence and of silver, we find ourselves looking with callous wonder, or dull heart of stone, at the tress of gold-flecked hair that we had once so wildly worshipped and so madly kissed.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
tags: love
“It is sometimes said that the tragedy of an artist's life is that he cannot realize his ideal. But the true tragedy that dogs the steps of most artists is that they realize their ideal too absolutely. For, when the ideal is realized, it is robbed of its wonder and its mystery, and becomes simply a new starting point for an ideal that is other than itself. This is why music is the perfect type of art. Music can never reveal its ultimate secret.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“In literature mere egotism is delightful.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“For he to whom the present is the only thing that is present, knows nothing of the age in which he lives. To realise the nineteenth century, one must realise every century that has preceded it and that has contributed to its making. To know anything about oneself one must know all about others.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“If they know nothing of death, it is because they know little of life, for the secrets of life and death belong to those, and those only, whom the sequence of time affects, and who possess not merely the present but the future, and can rise or fall from a past of glory or of shame. Movement, that problem of the visible arts, can be truly realised by Literature alone. It is Literature that shows us the body in its swiftness and the soul in its unrest.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“There is nothing sane about the worship of beauty. It is too splendid to be sane. Those of whose lives it forms the dominant note will always seem to the world to be pure visionaries.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“The method by which the fool arrives at his folly was as dear to him as the ultimate wisdom of the wise.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“There are as many Hamlets as there are melancholies.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“The critic will certainly be an interpreter, but he will not treat Art as a riddling Sphinx, whose shallow secret may be guessed and revealed by one whose feet are wounded and who knows not his name. Rather, he will look upon Art as a goddess whose mystery it is his province to intensify, and whose majesty his privilege to make more marvellous in the eyes of men.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“It is to do nothing that the elect exist. Action is limited and relative. Unlimited and absolute is the vision of him who sits at ease and watches, who walks in loneliness and dreams.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“Ah! it is so easy to convert others. It is so difficult to convert oneself. To arrive at what one really believes, one must speak through lips different from one's own. To know the truth one must imagine myriads of falsehoods.”
Oscar Wilde, The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde
“That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one's own soul. It is more fascinating than history, as it is concerned simply with oneself. It is more delightful than philosophy, as its subject is concrete and not abstract, real and not vague. It is the only civilized form of autobiography, as it deals not with events, but with the thoughts of one's life; not with life's physical accidents of deed or circumstance, but with the spiritual moods and imaginative passions of the mind...The best that one can say of most modern creative art is that it is just a little less vulgar than reality, and so the critic, with his fine sense of distinction and sure instinct of delicate refinement, will prefer to look into the silver mirror or through the woven veil, and will turn his eyes away from the chaos and clamor of actual existence, though the mirror be tarnished and the veil be torn. His sole aim is to chronicle his own impressions. It is for him that pictures are painted, books written, and marble hewn into form.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“Life! Life! Don’t let us go to life for our fulfilment or our experience. It is a thing narrowed by circumstances, incoherent in its utterance and without that fine correspondence of form and spirit which is the only thing that can satisfy the artistic and critical temperament. It makes us pay too high a price for its wares, and we purchase the meanest of its secrets at a cost that is monstrous and infinite.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“People cry out against the sinner, yet it is not the sinful, but the stupid, who are our shame. There is no sin except stupidity.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“And so, it is not our own life that we live, but the lives of the dead, and the soul that dwells within us is no single spiritual entity, making us personal and individual, created for our service, and entering into us for our joy. It is something that has dwelt in fearful places, and in ancient sepulchres has made its abode. It is sick with many maladies, and has memories of curious sins. It is wiser than we are, and its wisdom is bitter. It fills us with impossible desires, and makes us follow what we know we cannot gain. One thing, however, Ernest, it can do for us. It can lead us away from surroundings whose beauty is dimmed to us by the mist of familiarity, or whose ignoble ugliness and sordid claims are marring the perfection of our development. It can help us to leave the age in which we were born, and to pass into other ages, and find ourselves not exiled from their air. It can teach us how to escape from our experience, and to realise the experiences of those who are greater than we are. The pain of Leopardi crying out against life becomes our pain. Theocritus blows on his pipe, and we laugh with the lips of nymph and shepherd. In the wolfskin of Pierre Vidal we flee before the hounds, and in the armour of Lancelot we ride from the bower of the Queen. We have whispered the secret of our love beneath the cowl of Abelard, and in the stained raiment of Villon have put our shame into song. We can see the dawn through Shelley's eyes, and when we wander with Endymion the Moon grows amorous of our youth. Ours is the anguish of Atys, and ours the weak rage and noble sorrows of the Dane. Do you think that it is the imagination that enables us to live these countless lives? Yes: it is the imagination; and the imagination is the result of heredity. It is simply concentrated race-experience.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
“For what is truth? In matters of relogion, it is simply the opinion that has survived. In matters of science, it is the ultimate sensation. In matters of art, it is one's last mood.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

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