enigma

Archivi per il mese di “aprile, 2017”

Human life, the only thing worth investigating

…He had been always enthralled by the methods of natural science, but the ordinary subject-matter of that science had seemed to him trivial and of no import. And so he had begun by vivisecting himself, as he had ended by vivisecting others. Human life – that appeared to him the one thing worth investigating. Compared to it there was nothing else of any value. It was true that as one watched life in its curious crucible of pain and pleasure, one could not wear over one’s face a mask of glass, nor keep the sulphurous fumes from troubling the brain and making the immagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshapen dreams. There were poisons so subtle that to know their properties one has to sicken of them. There were maladies so strange that one had to pass through them if one sought to understand their nature. And, yet, what a great reward one received! How wonderful the whole world became to one! To note the curious hard logic of passion, and the emotional coloured life of the intellect – to observe where they met, and where they separated, at what point they were in unison, and at what point they were at discord – there was a delight in that! What matter what the cost was? One could never pay too high a price for any sensation.

On Lord Henry Wotton,

The Picture of Dorian Gray

O. Wilde

Bad artists

The only artists I have ever known, who are personally delightful, are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realise.

Lord Henry Wotton to Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

O. Wilde

Self-development

-There is no such thing as good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral – immoral from the scientific point of view.-

-Why?-

-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 some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realise 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 soul 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 moral, 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 should forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Ellenic ideal – to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self denial that mars our lives. we are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sins, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yeld to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what his monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. 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. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame.-

-Stop!- Faltered Dorian Gray – stop! You bewilder me…-

Lord Henry Wotton to Dorian Gray,

The Picture of Dorian Gray

O. Wilde

Reason to believe

Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean

and true

She said baby I’ll work for you every day and

bring my money home to you

One day he up and left her and ever since that

she waits down at the end of that dirt road for

young Johnny to come back

Struck me kinda funny funny yea indeed how at

the end of every hard earned day you can find

some reason to believe

B. Springsteen

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