12 December 2011

any distraction will do

I won't let us get a Christmas tree until Friday because (1) I want it to live as long as possible, and (2) I want to be (basically) done exams so I can get festive. So without Christmas plans and dreams to distract me from studying, I decided to start reading non-school stuff again (the joy!) and I wanted that reading to take place on my new ipad. I don't know if you know this but most of the classics are FREE. Obviously now I am 139 pages into The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. And I think Mr. Wilde is trying to tell me not to study. Rascal.

Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. A man cannot be too careful in his choice of his enemies. I have not got one who is a fool. They are all men of some intellectual powers, and consequently they all appreciate me very much.

It is a sad thing to think of, but there is no doubt that Genius lasts longer than Beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place. 

But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty, becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. 

I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do. If a personality fascinates me, whatever mode of expression that personality selects is absolutely delightful to me. 

Quotations from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (London: Ward, Lock & Co), 1891. Image from Google Images.

No comments:

Post a Comment