Advice on Life, from Writers with Tragic Deaths (and Oscar Wilde)

“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”
Oscar Wilde

Let’s face it; writers are generally a pretty depressed lot. However that doesn’t stop them from giving some good advice on how to live one’s life. Perhaps you will do what they did not, and take it.

Writers who made it into this post:

Christopher Marlowe (d. May 30, 1593): After a day of drinking, Marlowe and his friend got into an argument over the bar tab. His friend pulled out a knife and stabbed Marlowe above the right eye, leaving a 2-inch deep wound that killed him immediately.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (d. July 8, 1822) : Shelley drowned, which is pretty run-of-the-mill, but the interesting part is that his heart refused to burn when he was cremated in a bonfire on the beach. Rumor has it that his wife, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, kept the crumbled remains in her desk. Yummy.

Ernest Hemingway (July 2, 1961): Hemingway, after a series of unfortunate events (…) like the plane he took on a safari crashing, then the plane that rescued him crashing, and other equally painful things, shot himself in the head with a shotgun in his Idaho home.

Tennessee Williams (February 24, 1983): Williams had a history of serious drug abuse. Apparently, by the 1960s he was living on (daily) two packs of cigarettes, a fifth of liquor and a handful of pills.  While popping some tranquilizers one night, Williams choked to death on a medicine bottle cap in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York City.

Oscar Wilde (d. November 30, 1900): Oscar Wilde didn’t die especially tragically (except by his fashionable standards), but he is a badass. Also, upon his death in a cheap Paris apartment, he is quoted as saying – upon seeing the wallpaper in the room – “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.” He did.

LOVE

“While money doesn’t buy love, it puts you in a great bargaining position.”
Christopher Marlowe

“Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.”
Ernest Hemingway

“Every time you come in yelling that God damn “Rise and Shine!” “Rise and Shine!” I say to myself, “How lucky dead people are!”
Tennessee Williams

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”
Oscar Wilde

MONEY

“You can be young without money, but you can’t be old without it.”
Tennessee Williams

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Oscar Wilde

“Who, being loved, is poor?”
Oscar Wilde

“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”
Oscar Wilde

LONELINESS

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Ernest Hemingway

“Time is the longest distance between two places”
Tennessee Williams

“When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone”
Tennessee Williams

“I Fall upon the thorns of life….”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

“I drink to make other people more interesting.”
Ernest Hemingway

PICK-UP LINES

“O, thou art fairer than the evening air clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.”
Christopher Marlowe

“The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea: what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Stuff me in a tutu and let’s screen experimental videos all day.”

— Sam Lipsyte (Not dead yet. This was too great to pass up.)

 

“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”
Oscar Wilde

GENERAL ADVICE AND INSPIRATION

“The more we study, the more we discover our ignorance”

Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguishes one man from another.”
Ernest Hemingway

“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”
Ernest Hemingway

“You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch.”
Ernest Hemingway

“Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else.”
Tennessee Williams

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
Oscar Wilde

“The only good thing to do with good advice is pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself.”
Oscar Wilde

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