One could be rather brittle on the subject of Oscar Wilde:
brilliance is dazzling: it stops you seeing the truth.
How about that?
Oscar Wilde himself said 'I have put my genius into my life; all I've put into my works is my talent.'
If that were the case then talent took him further than most people's genius, but all the same I know what he means. He's so good at being clever that mostly you don't notice the nonsense.
'A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.'
'All art is immoral.'
'It is through Art, and Art only, that we can realise our perfection; through Art, and through Art only, that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence.'
All those lines come not from his plays or fiction - that would mean nothing - but from his 1891 essay The Critic as Artist.
Of course he was just mucking about, but, all the same, it makes that genius/talent line ring really rather horribly true.
Poor dear Oscar.
(Photograph by Napoleon Sarony.)
Word To Use Today: brilliance. This word comes to us, delightfully, through French from the Italian word brillo, which means beryl.