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One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything. Options
Daemon
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
zielonosiwy
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 7:21:21 AM
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far-fetched
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:00:38 AM
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Once again, the quote is not so much the author's as the words of one of his characters. Wilde perfected his way of commenting on the world and our antics in it by drawing our attention to its idiocies in this seemingly flippant and ironic vein: it got people thinking.

"Far-fetched"? Yes. Deliberately. Sometimes one has to hit people over the head with the blunt instrument of words in order to get them to question the realities they feel they have fashioned.

And - even 20 years before, had someone written a book which outlined Wilde and his own life, that would have been seen as far-fetched, too.
Heidii
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:10:48 AM
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I wonder what he had to hide. Shhh
Christine
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:12:28 PM
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Yea, like go to hell Oscar.
capitán
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:23:09 PM

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Think about the kind of woman who blindly plays the little games of society. Often, she would restrain telling the truth at every minuscule level, whether it is about her age or other trivialities. Now, thinking about today´s quotation, she should be the kind of woman you could trust, and yet she conceals the truth even at the pettiest levels. I daresay, she is the most likely to tell one anything.

I don´t know how things were going on in the 19th century, though.Think
Certainly, I would like to read womens´ opinions on this.
Verbatim
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3:36:25 PM
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Daemon wrote:
One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)


A prelude to deceit, he meant, or a playful paradox?

Romany
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3:54:32 PM
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Once again I stress: While he wrote the words, they in no way reflect Wilde - they are the words of one of his characters. In a play. A comedy of manners.

The play is called "A Woman of No Importance" and if anyone can say they read that play and came away thinking Wilde was misogynist then they haven't read it at all.

He was a man ahead of his time in many ways and his views on societal bullshite have echoed down the years. His caustic wit worked on two levels:- he was taking society to task AND trying to get his audience to think when they were simply set on being entertained.

Perhaps the fact that there were those who understood his contempt for societal mores of the day was what ensured that his two years in prison should have been spent doing hard labour!
Miriam...
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:04:25 PM

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I think Wilde is saying that a women who is truthful might be dangerous; because she does not hide the truth behind the curtain of decorum. Thus she might embarrass, humiliate or put one to shame etc. by exposing one's human frailties to public scrutiny. A woman who is dishonest, can be trusted to remain dishonest. And therefore relied upon keep up society's untruths.
Tovarish
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:21:38 PM
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Well done Romany & Miriam, from what I have read of Wilde he was quite brilliant.

Anyone who asks a woman her age does not deserve to be told the truth, also sadly the mirror never lies.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:53:30 AM
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Yeah, Tov!

I think Miriam has explained it so well. Wilde's character says the words, Wilde himself provides us the opportunity of wry humour.

Anyone who thinks he was some sort of useless Victorian woman-hater might like to see what some of his other characters have famously said: -

"Men become old, but they never become good."
-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”

"I don't like compliments, and I don't see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn't mean."
-- “Lady Windermere's Fan”

"I don't know that women are always rewarded for being charming. I think they are usually punished for it!"
-- “An Ideal Husband”

"The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast."
-- “Lord Arthur Savile's Crime”
Christine
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:09:53 AM
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My comment was humor.
excaelis
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 5:09:07 PM

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He did go to Reading, Christine, which, to all intents and purposes, counts.
Romany
Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 5:19:46 AM
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Ah yes, Ex - but did he, himself, ever go to Banbury?
Tovarish
Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 5:35:38 AM
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To ride a cock horse? or was that Banbury-cross?
Romany
Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 12:41:32 PM
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Well Tov, Banbury Cross is actually IN Banbury. (There once used to be 3 crosses there, in fact).

But what I was alluding to was the fact that a story was put about by Alastair Crowley that Wilde once met a boy in the carriage of a railway train going to Banbury but went on to Sunbury...and this is why, in The Importance of Being Earnest where there is much talk of Bunburying, a rumour started in the 1980's that because of this apocryphal story, 'Bunburying' was actually part of some secret, gay code.

So I was kinda being Miss Clever Clogs and enquiringin a roundabout way whether Ex himself gave any credence to the story. Because if Ex has had any experience of rep work as most actors have, it's likely that, at some stage, he has 'done' "The Importance..". Hell's bell's we've ALL 'done' The Importance of Being Earnest if we've ever trod the boards, I should think!
excaelis
Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 1:03:42 PM

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" All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his."

Puts Chas Bono in an interesting spot, that one.



Actually to my eternal disgruntlement d'oh! I've never had the opportunity to publicly perform any Wilde, though of course the thousands in the theatre in my bathroom have given me many a standing ovation. Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause
Romany
Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 5:42:07 PM
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(Yeah, sure, 'disgruntlement' works.)

As to not having ever been in Earnest - well, you are the wrong gender after all: even had you done it, you would never have been able to utter that immortal line(preferably while holding a lorgnette to one's eye): - "To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. "
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