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I’ll be a poet, a writer, a dramatist. Somehow or other I’ll be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be notorious. Or perhaps I’ll lead the life of pleasure for a time and then—who knows?—rest and do nothing. What does Plato say is the highest end that man can attain here below? To sit down and contemplate the good. Perhaps that will be the end of me too.
Quoted in "In Victorian days and other papers" By Sir David Oswald Hunter-Blair (1939)
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More from Oscar Wilde
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
Quoted in "Oscar Wilde, an idler's impression" By Edgar Saltus (1917)
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
The Ballad of Reading Gaol
ALGERNON. Literary criticism is not your forte, my dear fellow. Don’t try it. You should leave that to people who haven’t been at a University. They do it so well in the daily papers. What you really are is a Bunburyist. I was quite right in saying you were a Bunburyist. You are one of the most advanced Bunburyists I know.
A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
The Critic as Artist (1891)
Relations are simply a tedious pack of people who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.