The Wit of Oscar Wilde
Wit or scholar? dandy or genius? Sinner or saint? Praised or damned ever since he made his first sensational appearance on the world stage well over a hundred years ago, it is still impossible to ignore Oscar Wilde. Whether powerful (Each man kills the thing he loves), endearing (We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars), or scandalous (A family is a terrible encumberance, especially when one is not married), Wildes writing is always of the highest order and always a thought-provoking delight. Few writers are as synonymous with wit. (There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about; A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal; To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance). Certainly none have provoked such a mixture of outrage and merriment from the reader. This delightful compendium brings together some of the finest and most biting examples chosen from a wide range of essays, stories, plays and poetry all of them the authentic product of the man who claimed he had nothing to declare but his genius. As Wildes grandson Merlin Holland writes in his introduction, he lived in fear of the public not misunderstanding him. And certainly his quicksilver wit was often employed to bemuse and baffle a reaction he clearly relished.
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