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An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:20 pm
by Tom Palven
I's be grateful for a little help:

I'm reading a John Connolly tale and came across "as Jimmy liked to say, quoting Oscar Wilde, 'sentimentality is the bank holiday of cynicism.' "

“A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. We think we can have our emotions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing emotions have to be paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine. The intellectual and emotional life of ordinary people is a very contemptible affair. Just as they borrow their ideas from a sort of circulating library of thought—-the Zeitgeist of an age that has no soul—-and send them back soiled at the end of each week, so they always try to get their emotions on credit, and refuse to pay the bill when it comes in. You should pass out of that conception of life. As soon as you have to pay for an emotion you will know its quality, and be the better for such knowledge. And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.” -Oscar Wilde

I looked up bank holiday, and it is a day off with pay, but I still don't quite catch Wilde's meaning about paying for an emotion.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:26 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Tom Palven wrote: I looked up bank holiday, and it is a day off with pay, but I still don't quite catch Wilde's meaning about paying for an emotion.

I have no special knowledge about Oscar Wilde or Bank Holidays (In fact, I thought we here in the USA had them as well and it just meant the Banks were closed while the rest of us worked.) But I have a generic response that applies in more and more situations I'll post after noting:

Wild's point is the opposite of what you query: he says sentimentalists DO NOT PAY for that emotion. I take that to mean what you can see in most discussions: people identifying with the good part of some proposal and not addressing the bad parts of it all...usually like how to pay for it. Its the Pro's Only advocacy of a subject that has Con's as well.

PROS AND CONS TO EVERY POSITION. One that was just on TV was how Freedom of Religion as per Jefferson was really Freedom of Ideas to think as you wish and that applied to the Muslim Religion means we should not discriminate against them. That is the Pro Only or sentimentality of not considering the Con's/Negatives/Cost/Cynicism of inviting in any discordant minority view into a society.

THE SIN OF CONFLATION. Not all sentimentality is the same, not all issues on which it is applied is the same, not all people are the same, there are degrees of conviction to the pros and cons that exist and so forth. To me, that and most other aphorisms are simply label for a general discussion to follow for the maxim to have any value at all. The sentimentality of going to war is very different than the sentimentality of the smell of ginger at Christmas. The pros and cons are different. The associated cynicism is different if it even exists.

All adages are worthy of consideration. Consideration........not acceptance.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:09 pm
by Matthew Ellard
Tom Palven wrote: I looked up bank holiday, and it is a day off with pay, but I still don't quite catch Wilde's meaning about paying for an emotion.


Bank holiday is for people in the financial sector and although a holiday, evolved from the guild religious days for the patron saints of commerce. St Nicholas is the patron saint of pawn brokers.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:53 pm
by Tom Palven
Matthew Ellard wrote:
Tom Palven wrote: I looked up bank holiday, and it is a day off with pay, but I still don't quite catch Wilde's meaning about paying for an emotion.


Bank holiday is for people in the financial sector and although a holiday, evolved from the guild religious days for the patron saints of commerce. St Nicholas is the patron saint of pawn brokers.


Interesting, but off the point.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:17 am
by scrmbldggs
I think it means paying nothing = not using the bank/your account?

(“A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it...And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.”)

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:08 am
by Tom Palven
scrmbldggs wrote:I think it means paying nothing = not using the bank/your account?

(“A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it...And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.”)


Okay, let me just check the word "sentimental."

sen·ti·men·tal
[ˌsen(t)əˈmen(t)l]

ADJECTIVE
of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia:
"she felt a sentimental attachment to the place creep over her"
synonyms: nostalgic · tender · emotional · affectionate · softhearted · tenderhearted · soft
(of a work of literature, music, or art) dealing with feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia, typically in an exaggerated and self-indulgent way:
"a sentimental ballad"
synonyms: mawkish · overemotional · cloying · sickly · saccharine · sugary · oversweet · romantic · touching · slushy · mushy · weepy · tear-jerking · schmaltzy · lovey-dovey · gooey · drippy · [more]
(of a person) excessively prone to feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia:
"I'm a sentimental old fool."

Reminds me of the sweet old song I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=i% ... ORM=WRVORC

But I don't see why apparently a sentimentalist is a cynic trying to get warm emotions for free? Maybe something will jell in my sleep. And so far I don't see why John Connolly thought that was worth quoting.

I'll take another look at in in context.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:48 am
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Tom Palven wrote: But I don't see why apparently a sentimentalist is a cynic trying to get warm emotions for free? Maybe something will jell in my sleep. And so far I don't see why John Connolly thought that was worth quoting.

I'll take another look at in in context.

Yeah, I agree. You can make it make sense with a small contextual change. If and when a cynic is sentimental, THEN he is trying to get warm emotions for free. As stated....lots of different sentiments and people being sentimental are not cynical at all. some are.

Its how you get a reputation in the Salon for being a clever wit. Free Drinks. Loose Women.......or in Wilde's case.........but it would be cynical to think that Wilde was cynical just to get laid.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:40 am
by scrmbldggs
Tom Palven wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:I think it means paying nothing = not using the bank/your account?

(“A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it...And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.”)


Okay, let me just check the word "sentimental."

sen·ti·men·tal
[ˌsen(t)əˈmen(t)l]

ADJECTIVE
of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia:
"she felt a sentimental attachment to the place creep over her"
synonyms: nostalgic · tender · emotional · affectionate · softhearted · tenderhearted · soft
(of a work of literature, music, or art) dealing with feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia, typically in an exaggerated and self-indulgent way:
"a sentimental ballad"
synonyms: mawkish · overemotional · cloying · sickly · saccharine · sugary · oversweet · romantic · touching · slushy · mushy · weepy · tear-jerking · schmaltzy · lovey-dovey · gooey · drippy · [more]
(of a person) excessively prone to feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia:
"I'm a sentimental old fool."

Reminds me of the sweet old song I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=i% ... ORM=WRVORC

But I don't see why apparently a sentimentalist is a cynic trying to get warm emotions for free? Maybe something will jell in my sleep. And so far I don't see why John Connolly thought that was worth quoting.

I'll take another look at in in context.

It's like Trump expecting, demanding and proclaiming loyalty without really giving any in return...

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:47 am
by scrmbldggs
...or deserving any.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:50 am
by Nikki Nyx
Tom Palven wrote:I's be grateful for a little help:

I'm reading a John Connolly tale and came across "as Jimmy liked to say, quoting Oscar Wilde, 'sentimentality is the bank holiday of cynicism.' "

“A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. We think we can have our emotions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing emotions have to be paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine. The intellectual and emotional life of ordinary people is a very contemptible affair. Just as they borrow their ideas from a sort of circulating library of thought—-the Zeitgeist of an age that has no soul—-and send them back soiled at the end of each week, so they always try to get their emotions on credit, and refuse to pay the bill when it comes in. You should pass out of that conception of life. As soon as you have to pay for an emotion you will know its quality, and be the better for such knowledge. And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.” -Oscar Wilde

I looked up bank holiday, and it is a day off with pay, but I still don't quite catch Wilde's meaning about paying for an emotion.
Perhaps Wilde's quote came on the heels of an opium-absinthe bender. People often believe they're incredibly wise when they're high AF. You can have an emotion without paying for it in personal experience, after all; it's called 'empathy.'

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:26 am
by Gord
It clearly meant something to the people who quoted it.

Consider the context. He's clearly saying that sentimentality is a lesser form of cynicism. Therefore, the implication must be that a bank holiday is a lesser form of holiday.

I asked my father for more information on bank holidays, and he tells me this: "Legally, banks could only be closed for two consecutive days unless there was a legal holiday. Bank holidays were days the bank chose to make legal holidays in order to be closed for more than two days consecutively." In other words, they're holidays only as a convenience, and not in the original sense of holy days.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:16 am
by Tom Palven
Thanks, Y'all.

I think we're getting somewhere.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:20 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Gord wrote:It clearly meant something to the people who quoted it.
Or not at all in just flapping his lips, high on absinthe, or scoring social points for meaningless word play. Favorite movie on point is Gene Wilders silimar word play in "The Corsican Brothers." Good movie.

Gord wrote: Consider the context. He's clearly saying that sentimentality is a lesser form of cynicism.

Define lesser.

Gord wrote: Therefore, the implication must be that a bank holiday is a lesser form of holiday.

No matter what lesser means, it doesn't affect what bank holiday means. This is the fallacy of the undistributed middle...or something like that. Middle assumptions not stated.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:21 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
What's been got?

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:05 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
'sentimentality is the bank holiday of cynicism.'

Sentimentality is a day off for cynicism. ...takes a vacation/break/etc....

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:28 pm
by Tom Palven
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:'sentimentality is the bank holiday of cynicism.'

Sentimentality is a day off for cynicism. ...takes a vacation/break/etc....


Looks like you may be getting close.

I still don't follow why a sentamentlist is "always a cynic at heart" who "simply wants to have an the luxury of an emotion without paying for it."
(Didn't find any hints in my sleep last night.)

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:49 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
TP: do you have a meaning for sentimentality being an emotion without paying for it? Your question is compound, so specificity may help focus the discuss. As stated: I think Wilde is WRONG when describing sentimentalists as cynics. Not to repeat myself.........it is harder to understand something that is more wrong than right. Having thought about it some more myself........I think it more accurate to say that sentimentalists are more lazy than anything else. Less curious...more accepting any popular trope of the day. Thats because I'm a cynic..............

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:10 am
by Tom Palven
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:TP: do you have a meaning for sentimentality being an emotion without paying for it?


No, I don't know the meaning and don't know if I think he's right or wrong since I still can't figure out what he meant.

Btw, I'm going to throw out the book by John Connolly (The Lovers), where he quotes Wilde, when I'm done with it, because it has devolved into total nuttiness about angels and demons. I think it came with a bunch of books from my stepmother, but I wouldn't pass it on to anyone else.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:08 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Always a pity when a book/movie/art starts out with interest and then fails. Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves the movie with Costner and Morgan Freeman is like that. Started off with potential........now nothing but mindless improbable senseless "action". Arrows missed the good guys back then just as bullets do now.................

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:31 pm
by VFX
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Always a pity when a book/movie/art starts out with interest and then fails. Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves the movie with Costner and Morgan Freeman is like that. Started off with potential........now nothing but mindless improbable senseless "action". Arrows missed the good guys back then just as bullets do now.................

Catering for those who after getting through 3 litres of 8% cider are in a state of not being able to follow the movie plot and seeing the screen in double anyway.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:39 am
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
I watched that movie about a week or so before my first ever batch of H.Cider was ready to sample. But, Apple Drunk or sober, my complaint was not about the plot but rather the mindless actions. The PLOT of Robbing Hood is well known..and followed closely by the flick. Of note, the Costner remake still goes for that Errol Flynn light and merry flim flam but goes disjointedly heavy handed on the violence and gore.....or maybe not quite that but just killing people (repeatedly) to show how evil the Sheriff was. Overkill, not to abuse the notion.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:29 pm
by Poodle
How about letting Oscar himself explain it ...
“A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. We think we can have our emotions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing emotions have to be paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine. The intellectual and emotional life of ordinary people is a very contemptible affair. Just as they borrow their ideas from a sort of circulating library of thought—-the Zeitgeist of an age that has no soul—-and send them back soiled at the end of each week, so they always try to get their emotions on credit, and refuse to pay the bill when it comes in. You should pass out of that conception of life. As soon as you have to pay for an emotion you will know its quality, and be the better for such knowledge. And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.”
... is the full quotation.

As a bank holiday was one which affected lots more people and businesses than just bankers and banks, it was (and still is) regarded as an enforced (but very welcome) change from the norm - a time when you could do something which, normally, you could not do. A cynic would not, normally, be regarded as a sentimentalist, but could indulge in sentimentalism on the odd lazy occasion and be forgiven.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 9:45 pm
by Tom Palven
Poodle wrote:How about letting Oscar himself explain it ...
“A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. We think we can have our emotions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing emotions have to be paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine. The intellectual and emotional life of ordinary people is a very contemptible affair. Just as they borrow their ideas from a sort of circulating library of thought—-the Zeitgeist of an age that has no soul—-and send them back soiled at the end of each week, so they always try to get their emotions on credit, and refuse to pay the bill when it comes in. You should pass out of that conception of life. As soon as you have to pay for an emotion you will know its quality, and be the better for such knowledge. And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.”
... is the full quotation.

As a bank holiday was one which affected lots more people and businesses than just bankers and banks, it was (and still is) regarded as an enforced (but very welcome) change from the norm - a time when you could do something which, normally, you could not do. A cynic would not, normally, be regarded as a sentimentalist, but could indulge in sentimentalism on the odd lazy occasion and be forgiven.


I think that you've got it.

cyn·i·cal
[ˈsinək(ə)l]

ADJECTIVE
believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.
"her cynical attitude"
synonyms: bitter · resentful · cynical · soured · distorted · disenchanted · [more]
doubtful as to whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile.
"most residents are cynical about efforts to clean mobsters out of their city"
synonyms: skeptical · doubtful · distrustful · suspicious · disbelieving ·


1. You probably know from my comments at this forum that I am not just skeptical about religon and politics, but cynical by the above definition.

2. Coming home on a plane the othe night I watched Murder on the Orient Express, and had tears running down my cheeks when hard-boiled Hercule Poirot turned his back on the criminal justice system and allowed a bunch of murders to walk.

3. I think I understand it now, too.

While Agatha Christie and Poirot didn't restore my faith in prevalent human nature theses days , I guess I was acting sentimentally and thus taking a bank holiday from cynicism.

Re: An Oscar Wilde Quote

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:01 am
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
I've seen that Poirot episode but don't remember the details. Whats "new" to me is evidently the person murdered on the train in some way "deserved it"? If that is true, well, no bank holiday is required. ALL the other murders in the Christie/Poirot universe were evil do'ers..... and treated appropriately, as are the murderers on the Orient Express?

or do you mean something else?