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Oscar Wilde, 16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900, Irish poet and playwright

│ Epigram

(n.) a saying or remark, especially a satirical one, with a witty or ingenious ending

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We spend our days, each one of us, in looking for the secret of life. Well, the secret of life is in Art.
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In literature we require distinction, charm, beauty and imaginative power. We don’t want to be harrowed and disgusted with an account of the doings of the lower orders.
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I have always been of the opinion that consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative…
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The true dramatist … shows us life under the conditions of Art, not Art in the form of life.
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A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
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… it would be a very good thing if people were taught how to speak. Language is the noblest instrument we have, either for the revealing or the concealing of thought; talk itself is a sort of spiritualized action; and conversation is one of the loveliest of the arts.
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Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.
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… imitation can be made the sincerest form of insult.
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I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.
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Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life… Life holds the mirror up to Art, and either reproduces some strange type imagined by painter or sculptor, or realizes in fact what ha been dreamed in fiction.
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The English are always degrading truths into facts. When a truth becomes a fact it loses all its intellectual value.
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All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.
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Art, even the art of fullest scope and widest vision, can never really show us the external world. All that it shows us is our own soul, the one world of which we have any real cognizance … It is Art, and Art only, that reveals us to ourselves.

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Epigrams taken from the little black Penguin Classics book Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast by Oscar Wilde

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