Frank Harris

Irish-American writer, journalist and publisher

Frank Harris (February 14, 1856August 27, 1931) was a controversial journalist, biographer and fiction-writer, born James Thomas Harris in Ireland, who took US citizenship in 1921. He is best remembered for his friendship with Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, and for his scandalous and sometimes true autobiography, My Life and Loves.

Harris in 1913

Quotes edit

  • Strong men are made by opposition; like kites they go up against the wind.
    • Oscar Wilde ([1916] 1997) ch. 6, p. 59.
  • Happiness is not essential to the artist; happiness never creates anything but memories.
    • Oscar Wilde ([1916] 1997) ch. 21, p. 254.
  • "Just as work is the curse of the drinking classes of this country," [Wilde] said laughing, "so education is the curse of the acting classes."
    • Oscar Wilde (1916) ch. 11.
  • Shaw's relations with women have always been gallant, coy even. The number he has surrendered to physically have been few – perhaps not half a dozen in all – the first man to have cut a path through the theatre and left it strewn with virgins.
    • Bernard Shaw (1931) p. 191.
  • My dear Duke, I know nothing of the joys of homo-sexuality. You must speak to my friend Oscar about that. And yet, if Shakespeare had asked me, I would have had to submit.
  • Christ goes deeper than I do, but I have had a wider experience.
    • Hugh Kingsmill Frank Harris (1932) p. 164.
  • Casanova! My dear man, Casanova is not worthy to untie my bootstrings!
    • A. I. Tobin and Elmer Gertz Frank Harris: A Study in Black and White (1931) p. 324.
  • I am, really, a great writer; my only difficulty is in finding great readers.
  • ... truth was a mortal enemy of beauty.
    • Frank Harris: "My Life & Loves" (1925) p. 243

Criticism edit

  • Frank Harris has no feelings. It is the secret of his success. Just as the fact that he thinks other people have none either is the secret of the failure that lies in wait for him somewhere on the way of Life.
    • Oscar Wilde, letter to More Adey, May 12, 1897, quoted in Hugh Kingsmill Frank Harris (1932) p. 102.
  • The pleasure of being with you is in the clash of personality, the intellectual battle, the war of ideas. To survive you one must have a strong brain, an assertive ego, a dynamic character. In your luncheon-parties, in old days, the remains of the guests were taken away with the débris of the feast. I have often lunched with you in Park Lane and found myself the only survivor.
    • Oscar Wilde, letter to Frank Harris, June 13, 1897, in The Letters of Oscar Wilde (1962) p. 608.

External links edit

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