Tag: Oscar Wilde
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Oscar Wilde’s words ring true for Baltimore protestors:
“They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.
But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible…
…Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty. But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less…Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly-fed animal. He should decline to live like that, and should go on the rates, which is considered by many to be a form of stealing. As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg. No: a poor man who is ungrateful, unthrifty, discontented, and rebellious is probably a real personality, and has much in him. He is at any rate a healthy protest. As for the virtuous poor, one can pity them, of course, but one cannot possibly admire them. They have made private terms with the enemy, and sold their birthright for very bad pottage…
…They have to be told of [their misfortune] by other people, and they often entirely disbelieve them…That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary.
…Slavery was put down in America, not in consequence of any action on the part of the slaves, or even any express desire on their part that they should be free. It was put down entirely through the grossly illegal conduct of certain agitators in Boston and elsewhere, who were not slaves themselves, nor owners of slaves, nor had anything to do with the question really. It was, undoubtedly, the Abolitionists who set the torch alight, who began the whole thing…”
-Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man under Socialism.”
[BLA and GB Gabbler (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]
Oscar Wilde, on what books NOT to read:
“To tell people what to read is a rule either useless or harmful, for the true appreciation of literature is a question of temperament not of teaching…But to tell people what not to read is a very different matter, and I venture to recommend it as a
mission to the University Extension Scheme. Indeed, it is one that is eminently needed in this age of ours, an age which reads so much that it has no time to admire, and writes so much that it has no time to think. Whoever will select out of the chaos of our modern curricula “The Worst Hundred Books,” and publish a list of them, will confer on the rising generation a real and lasting benefit.” –Oscar Wilde, “To Read or Not to Read,” Pall Mall Gazette XLII (Feb 1886).
[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]
Wading through the elitist BS
‘You know who else never read The Great Gatsby? Charles Dickens. William Shakespeare. Oscar Wilde. William Blake. Lord Byron. True, those are all famous authors and poets who died before Fitzgerald wrote Gatsby, but my point is that you can’t claim someone is incapable of becoming a writer if they haven’t read any one specific book. You also can’t deride them for thinking of “the classics” as a single monolithic thing out of one side of your mouth, then deride everyone who hasn’t read and enjoyed the exact same books as you out of the other.’
One of my favorite news sites posted an article by Ryan Boudinot, an ex-MFA (Master of Fine Arts) teacher, about writing students. The article is an incredibly good example of both clickbait and elitist BS. And the writing blogs have reacted in a manner which is just increasing the traffic to the article, making it likely the site will put up more of the same. If you haven’t seen it, yet, here’s a link using the excellent Donotlink.com service: Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One – The Stranger, which will get you to the article without increasing its search stats.
A lot of people have posted rebuttals, I provide regular links to some of the best at the end of this post. The point I most disagree with is Boudinot’s definition of “serious reader.”
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