In Which I Read The Picture of Dorian Gray and Rediscover My Pretentious Arty Side

My only New Year’s Resolution this year? This one: 

So far I’m not really succeeding, mainly because I keep falling asleep on the train, which is the only time I have to read unless I don’t fall asleep when I go to bed. Which happens quite often, but I still feel like I should lie in the dark hoping to sleep, rather than reading. This makes no sense, I know. But oh well. 

I’ve got somewhere though. I’ve read this: 

And OMG it’s amazing. I can’t believe I haven’t read it before. It’s made it onto the top 10 list of Best Books I’ve Ever Read Ever, largely because of the wonderful style of writing.  There’s a certain beauty in a well-constructed sentence, especially one that’s about art, or the soul, or both. 

Now I sound like a hippy. But it’s true. Some of my favourite lines: 

To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.

All art is at once surface and symbol.
Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.

We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it.

But beauty, real beauty, ends where intellectual expression begins. 

Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don’t think. 

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.

Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil. Conscience is the trade name of the firm. That is all. 

I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world. 

He is never more present in my work than when no image of him is there.

Poets… know how useful passion is for publication. Nowadays a broken heart can run to many editions. 

I think you are wrong, Basil, but I won’t argue with you. It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue. 

Women… spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever… The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.

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. 

A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do.

Dorian is far too wise not to do foolish things now and then. 

Women treat us just as Humanity treats its gods. They worship us, and are always bothering us to do something for them. 

[Love and art] are both simply forms of imitation.

I have grown sick of shadows.

We live in an age where unnecessary things are our only necessities.

The one charm of the past is that it is the past. But women never know when the curtain has fallen. 

It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion. A man who is a master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure.

Even the cardinal virtues cannot atone for half-cold entrées.

I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else.

 My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.

A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.

Every effect that one produces gives one an enemy. To be popular one must be a mediocrity.

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