The Picture of Dorian Gray- A Masterpiece by Oscar Wilde
Some quotes 👌
I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else.
All art is quite useless.
You like every one; that is to say, you are indifferent to every one.
That a burnt child loves the fire.
You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.
I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if only one hides it.
Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, history would have been different.
Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.
Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.
They get up early, because they have so much to do, and go to bed early, because they have so little to think about.
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest that gives us absolution.
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 sin, for action is a mode of purification. . . . Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its 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.
The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul.
I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself.
The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play.
What of Art?
-It is a malady.
-The fashionable substitute for Belief.
--You are a sceptic.
-Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith.
-What are you?
-To define is to limit.
I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.
Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.
Some things are more precious because they don't last long.
Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
You must have a cigarette. A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?
Must read: Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray 👌
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Famous Graphology (Art and Literature)
For someone with such “normal” paintings, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) surprised me by having a very eccentric signature. Given the context of how intelligent he was, unless he had a neurological condition, which is possible (but unlikely, since this was written when he was young and there were no treatments for such illnesses then), I strongly suspect the same double-edged struggle of ADHD and OCD that Justin Timberlake endures (ever thought those two would be likened to each other?).
His writing is pervasively shaky, but not the little jolts of anxiety or anger. Rather, in the context of any era, the letters just seem to have trouble staying “on course”. In addition, even for the era, the letters are distant, indicating, when taken in combination with the disorganization, disjointed thoughts. I strongly suspect ADHD, and that his creative phases may have been hyperfixations (brilliant ones).
In addition, I also suspect some degree of OCD (something I have). The rigid need for symmetry in “1633″ tends to indicate this.
This combination of tendencies would explain his compulsive spending, which nearly resulted in bankruptcy- in 1660, his wife and son had to set up a dummy corporation to avoid creditors, because of said spending.
Between his name and the year, Rembrandt writes what looks very much like the number 2 followed by a Latin Cross. This duality is likely symbolic of the fact that his father was a Calvinist, but his mother was a Catholic, and as a result, though he considered himself Christian, Rembrandt could not decide which church to join (split in “two”).
Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890) was severely bipolar (huge ups and downs) and OCD (repetitive), as well as very paranoid (wide spaces between words), and his suicidal ideation is evident in the sudden drops at the end of lines.
The sad way Van Gogh went out was the result of just about the worst combination: His writing shows manic enthusiasm perhaps 95% of the time... then plummets into sudden depression at the end of two lines, so a most painful contrast between elation and despair would result.
Especially for an artist, Van Gogh’s writing seems sparse and unadorned. This is explained by his ascetic religious tendencies. At times in his life, he lived in deliberate poverty and ate no meat (for ascetic reasons, not for animal rights).
As he was raised Calvinist, and stricter Protestants (his father was a minister) have tended to see decoration as vanity, Van Gogh’s reticence to add artistic touches to his writing (unusual for Victorian handwriting) is easily understood, and the irony that Van Gogh was an artist by profession may have been a source of conflict for him.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) had writing, appropriately enough, that strongly resembles the Art Nouveau aesthetic prevalent in his time, and Wilde was fascinated by such items as decorated dinnerware, as much as he was by literature.
His writing is efficient and artistic at the same time, indicating a multi-faceted intelligence of the first rate, so when he boasted of “genius”, he was simply being honest.
However, his libido is the strongest I have ever seen... he adds a lower zone to the “e”, which is not even supposed to have a lower zone, that is longer than any I have ever seen in anyone’s writing.
He makes this giant lower zone in an “L”, something that recurs in his signatures. This has multiple levels of meaning. Oscar Wilde knew Greek, saw gay relationships as fundamentally a revival of Ancient Greece, and “L” is often short for “lambda”, as lambda is a direct ancestor of the letter “l”.
But in knowing the context of Wilde’s life and works, with The Ballad of Reading Gaol’s reference to Judas Iscariot (”The coward does it with a kiss”), it seems likely that, since “lambda” is Greek alphanumeric code for “30″, this may also refer to the thirty pieces of silver in history’s most infamous betrayal.
This is circumstantial and mostly likely subconscious, but given Wilde’s known fascination with both esoteric practices and Roman Catholicism, as well as his Greek scholarship and his personal life, it fits what we know about him, the more so as he married at age 29, but by age 31 or 32, was spending nearly all his time with men.
On some level, he foresaw that he would, at about age 30, try to be straight, but be unable to do so, feeling a keen sense of conflicted guilt about this. He converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed.
Except for the obvious downward slant (depression), Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) had outwardly “normal” handwriting, but it’s a little too organized (OCD), also showing temper tics in the “V” and the “f”.
A combination of low serotonin, which can cause both depression and OCD, and repressed anger, behind a “normal” veneer, caused her troubles.
As with Wilde, Woolf seems to have been torn by conflicts: Her writing is quite masculine, but her mother, whom she greatly admired, was a very traditional Victorian woman, and in her words, her mother “haunted” her.
Andrew Warhola (1928-1987), better known as Andy Warhol, had a father who died in an accident when Andy was 13, which profoundly affected him, as “Warhol” (the surname representing the father) is only partly legible.
In addition, he felt anger toward his mother, as shown by the triangular, leftward lower zone in the “y”, because of conflicts similar to those of Wilde and Woolf.
His mother was a very traditional Ruthenian Catholic (a type of Roman Catholic who differs from Latin Catholics in language and culture, but not in theology), but Warhol was both religious (painting almost 100 variations of the same image of Jesus Christ) and, of course, gay.
Warhol actually tried to hide his Catholicism from the public, as that did not fit his bohemian image (hence his “covering strokes”), and though he had a great need to express himself, as shown by the strong right slant, the loop of bravado at the end is to conceal insecurities, as it’s not properly connected to the rest of his writing, but Warhol tried to make it appear so.
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