Oscar was Wilde about books

With ‘The Ideal Husband’ currently playing at Dublin’s Gate Theatre, we’ve put together 10 literary quotes from its author

 Oscar Wilde “Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas that writes the biography.” Photograph: Roger Viollet Collection/Getty Images

Oscar Wilde “Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas that writes the biography.” Photograph: Roger Viollet Collection/Getty Images

Mon, May 12, 2014, 15:03

“In every first novel the hero is the author as Christ or as Faust.”

“There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.” (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

“Formerly we used to canonise our heroes. The modern method is to vulgarise them. Cheap editions of great books may be delightful, but cheap editions of great men are absolutely detestable.” (The True Function and Value of Literary Criticism)

“Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas that writes the biography.” (Intentions)

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” (The Importance of Being Earnest)

“The good ended happily and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” (The Importance of Being Earnest)

“Wordsworth went to the Lakes, but he never was a lake poet … He found in stones the sermons he had already put there.” (Intentions)

“A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.”

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

“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?” (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

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