You want to write well and never run out of ideas? You want to be inspired, entertained, left in awe and wonder of beauty and learn something at the same time? You want to improve your vocabulary and enhance the use of your English (or other) language? You want to keep your mind sharp and active?
Read a timeless classic!
There is a reason that a classic endures beyond the life of the author and past the turn of century after century. There is a reason that a classic will never go “out of style” and every generation will still be able to pick it up, and appreciate it to some level, whatever their education level may be.
These are great reasons that push me to pick up a classic, even in my most preoccupied state of mind, in between projects and product launches and blog posts, and feel compelled to finish it. Truth be told, a part of me is still making up for lost time during years of school and work, where I traded in my love of the arts and the literature for the practical side of life.
Oh how many books I could have read by now! How many pages I could have devoured! How many gems I could have stored in the depth of my heart by today!
Alas, what’s done is done. It is best to leave the past where it belongs and make up for lost time now, rather than lose even more of this precious commodity by looking back. Just do yourself a favor and pick up a classic to “reboot your system” with purity of the language.
The obvious problem with the classics is this of course: the more classics you read, the more you crave them, just like my addictive and mouth-watering raw vegan brownie. All good things have to be done in moderation, they say. So here are a few golden nuggets from my recent indulgence of Oscar Wilde’s witty, fun, original, and rhythmical play, “The Importance of Being Earnest”.
Reading is the best pastime for the mind! See more book reviews here: In Print.
Every phrase and expression is a thought worth enjoying and applying to our life today. The play on words, the glittering conversation, the unexpected turn of phrases, it’s deliciously clever and a classic it remains forever. I’ve made a note of catching the play someday!
My top 18 quotes from Oscar Wilde’s play:
You must read the play – it’s only 3 acts – and you probably will after reading these quotes below. I picked some for the humor, some the irony, some the truth and some the shock and others for pure delight in the expression of how I wish English were still spoken today.
- I don’t play accurately–any one can play accurately–but I play with wonderful expression.
- The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact.
- The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It is simply washing one’s clean linen in public.
- I have always been of the opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?
- Relations are simply tedious pack of people, who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.
- All women become like their mother. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
- I am not in favor of this modern mania for turning bad people into good people at a moment’s notice. As a man sows so let him reap.
- I should have remembered that when one is going to lead an entirely new life, one requires regular and wholesome meals.
- My duty as a gentleman has never interfered with my pleasures in the smallest degree.
- It is always painful to part from people whom one has known for a very brief space of time. The absence of old friends one can endure with equanimity. But even a momentary separation from anyone to whom one has just been introduced is almost unbearable.
- One must be serious about something, if one wants to have any amusement in life.
- At the present moment I am eating muffins because I am unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins.
- I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that.
- How absurd to talk of the equality of the sexes! Where questions of self-sacrifice are concerned, men are infinitely beyond us.
- To speak frankly, I am not in favor of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which I think is never advisable.
- You are perfectly right in making some slight alteration. Indeed, no woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.
- It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth.
- I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.
Is it just me who can find enduring amusement, deep appreciation
and plenty of pause for reflection from reading this play?
What is the last thing you read that left you wanting more?
Do share your brilliant thoughts in the comments below
and read more classics!