Excerpted from Oscar Wilde: Fragments and Memories (1914) by Martin Birnbaum: in a conversation with the actor Benoît-Constant Coquelin in Paris (while Wilde was living at the Hotel Voltaire), Wilde had the following exchange at lunch:
Coquelin: “What is civilization, Mr. Wilde?”
Wilde: “Love and beauty.”
Coquelin: “And what’s beauty?”
Wilde: “That which the bourgeois call ugly.”
Coquelin: “And what do the bourgeois call beautiful?”
Wilde: “It does not exist.”

Excerpted from Oscar Wilde: Fragments and Memories (1914) by Martin Birnbaum: in a conversation with the actor Benoît-Constant Coquelin in Paris (while Wilde was living at the Hotel Voltaire), Wilde had the following exchange at lunch:

Coquelin: “What is civilization, Mr. Wilde?”

Wilde: “Love and beauty.”

Coquelin: “And what’s beauty?”

Wilde: “That which the bourgeois call ugly.”

Coquelin: “And what do the bourgeois call beautiful?”

Wilde: “It does not exist.”

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