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 Post subject: Oscar Wilde
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 11:37 pm 
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I finally got around to checking out your collection of Wilde quotes.
I bristle just a tad whenever I see a Wilde quote without a source, and I was disappointed to see this list of 52 quotes, all simply saying "~Oscar Wilde."
All except one, quote # 51. And # 52, "as he sipped champagne on his deathbed," stated as if it were fact. Come on. That is all over the Internet that way.
I admire Mr. Wilde as being one of the most brilliant, and tragic, men of modern times. Absolutely 100% of anything attributed to him has a source, and virtually everything he ever wrote can be found on the Internet.
When I cannot find a source for a Wilde quote, I consider it bunk.
The first one was fairly easy to find:
A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
~The Critic as Artist
If I had lots of time, I'd go through the whole list.
Another one got my attention.
"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
Any help finding a source for that one would be appreciated. It can also be found as:
America may be unique in being a country which has leapt from barbarism to decadence without touching civilization.
~John O'Hara
And the last one. I've never been able to determine who supposedly heard these last words attributed to Wilde. But I'm going with:
"I suppose that I shall have to die beyond my means."
~Wilde, Oscar (1854 - 1900)
Irish-born British dramatist. When told that an operation would be expensive. He is also believed to have said `I am dying beyond my means' on accepting a glass of champagne as he lay on his deathbed.
Life of Wilde (Sherard)
http://www.xrefer.com/entry/208312

In Jonathan Green's book, Famous Last Words (1997), Wilde supposedly said (noting the turn of the century): "It could be more than the English could stand if another century began and I were still alive. I am dying as I have lived...beyond my means."

Aside from all that, I was pleased to see that you had so many of Wilde's quotes. Nicely done.

Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.
All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with dust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.
~ Oscar Wilde "Requiescat"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 3:05 am 
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I try to add sources when I can, but keep in mind that this is a collection I started 15 years ago when I was in high school, there was no Web, and I wouldn't have known a verified source if it came up and bit me.

This site and the Web have come a long way since then, but I don't have as much time as I'd like to work on verifying quotations or sources. Wilde is one of my favorites and I really should work on those.

Although I have a few "last words" quotations in the collection, these days I consider 95% of them (including the ones in "Famous Last Words") to be bunk. The fact is that even today, most famous people aren't being monitored 24/7 by reporters at the moment of death, and of course there's a strong motivation to put brilliant prose in the mouths of the recently-departed. Nobody wants to hear that their favorite writer's last words were "mumble... mmph... who are you?"

Here's a site full of those... Many likely wrong, but well compiled nonetheless.

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/6537/

Quote:
"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."
-- Pancho Villa, last words

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 4:53 am 
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:idea: OK, you inspired me. We now have verified sources for over half of the Wilde quotations.

http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Oscar_Wilde/

(it's amazing what a downloaded copy of most of Wilde's work and a full-text search can do.)

Keep in mind that, for various embarrasing technical reasons, the quotations without sources are always listed first. The sources start on page 3.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 8:08 am 
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Nicely done. Very impressive. I'll work on some of the others.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2002 8:52 am 
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I just checked to make sure my favorite quote of Wilde was in there. I had never seen what context it was said in, and after checking I was amazed at how many "quotes" could be taken from this one little exchange:

CECIL GRAHAM. Now, my dear Tuppy, don't be led astray into the paths of virtue. Reformed, you would be perfectly tedious. That is the worst of women. They always want one to be good. And if we are good, when they meet us, they don't love us at all. They like to find us quite irretrievably bad, and to leave us quite unattractively good.
LORD DARLINGTON. [Rising from R. table, where he has been writing letters.] They always do find us bad!
DUMBY. I don't think we are bad. I think we are all good, except Tuppy.
LORD DARLINGTON. No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. [Sits down at C. table.]
DUMBY. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars? Upon my word, you are very romantic to-night, Darlington.
CECIL GRAHAM. Too romantic! You must be in love. Who is the girl?
LORD DARLINGTON. The woman I love is not free, or thinks she isn't. [Glances instinctively at LORD WINDERMERE while he speaks.]
CECIL GRAHAM. A married woman, then! Well, there's nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It's a thing no married man knows anything about.
LORD DARLINGTON. Oh! she doesn't love me. She is a good woman. She is the only good woman I have ever met in my life.
CECIL GRAHAM. The only good woman you have ever met in your life?
LORD DARLINGTON. Yes!
CECIL GRAHAM. [Lighting a cigarette.] Well, you are a lucky fellow! Why, I have met hundreds of good women. I never seem to meet any but good women. The world is perfectly packed with good women. To know them is a middle-class education.
LORD DARLINGTON. This woman has purity and innocence. She has everything we men have lost.
~from Lady Windermere's Fan, by Oscar Wilde
http://www.gutenberg.org/index/by-author.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2002 11:52 pm 
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I know... I started reading "The Picture of Dorian Gray" the other day and have to resist the temptation to quote every other paragraph. (I did add a few we didn't have.)

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