"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Black Parable

"Fiction is the great lie that tells the truth about how the world lives."
                       ~Dorothy Allison

     



In Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray", many universal truths are revealed between the lines of convoluted verbiage. Just as there were plodding passages I skimmed over, there were glittering sparks of dialogue and introspective pondering, which caught me by the feminine equivalent of "the balls".

I wanted to share a few of my favorite lines that made me stop and think.
  1. "Each of us has heaven and hell in him."
  2. "Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. It cannot be concealed. People talk sometimes of secret vices. There are no such things. If a wretched man has a vice, it shows itself in the lines of his mouth, the droop of his eyelids, the molding of his hands even."
  3. “To get back one’s youth, one has merely to repeat one’s follies.”
  4. “Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”
  5. “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.”
  6. “He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.”
  7. “The lad was premature. He was gathering his harvest while it was yet spring.”
  8. “No civilized man ever regrets a pleasure and no uncivilized man ever knows what a pleasure is.”
  9. “He had told the girl whom he had lured to love him that he was wicked, and she had laughed and answered that wicked people were always very old and very ugly. What a laugh she had!—just like a thrush singing. And how pretty she had been in her cotton dresses and large hats! She knew nothing, but she had everything that he had lost.” 

Finally, having lived half my life in the country and knowing this to be the cleverest of ironies. my favorite is: 

10.  "Anyone can be good in the country; there are no temptations there."

Though I do adhere to #6. I just had never heard it expressed so eloquently. Do you have a favorite? Have you read this novel? It sat on my shelf for fifteen years. I don't know why I put it off.

9 comments:

Anthony Duce said...

Okay, you’ve convinced me. They are great quotes. I’ve been going to read it for years.

Jemi Fraser said...

Those are very deep - I like #1 & 8 especially! :)

Wendy said...

I'm just reading a book about Oscar Wilde at the moment. A genius of a man.

There are too many quotes to have a favourite. He was a wordsmith.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Anthony,
You won't regret it. A killer of an ending.

Jemi,
I liked those too. He certainly had a way with words.

Wendy,
I agree. A wordsmith if there ever was one. Thanks!

Other Mary said...

OW is quite a quotable character, isn't he? I remember reading this a long time ago. Brilliant!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Hi Mary,
I never realized how much food for thought this little book contained. Thanks!!

Sarah Allen said...

Wilde is one of my all-time favorites :)

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, With Joy)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Number three makes me laugh. It is so true and conjures up many images. :)
I haven't read it (saw the film long ago) but you have made me curious to do so.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Sarah,
Hi! I'm glad you liked this. Thanks for commenting.

Tricia,
Hello! So nice to see you here. Yes, #3 made me smile too. It made me wonder if I dare try. I don't think the movie was as good. Are they ever?