He seeks a non-authoritarian world whereby both government and corporations are not excessive. The power rests in guilds and not institutions. Capitalism came to America and destroyed Democracy. Wild Wilde turns Ayn Rand on her head by arguing only through Socialism can man be free enough to become creative and useful, whereby in Capitialism man spends too much time putting out the fires it causes and on which it thrives. Wilde's book includes other essays which are witty and well tempered. A man so ahead of his time it's shocking.
He even predicts robots in the book's title essay. Don't miss this one. Sep 12, Edward rated it really liked it Shelves: 4-star , own , essays , non-fiction , uk-ireland , philosophy-psychology-sociology , wilde. Introduction Note on the Text Eight Reviews Mr Whistler's Ten o'Clock The Relation of Dress to Art A Sentimental Journey through Literature Mr Pater's Imaginary Portraits Poetical Socialists Mr Swinburne's Last Volume The Decay of Lying Pen, Pencil and Poison Jul 28, Sjonni marked it as to-read.
Published in , well before anyone anywhere had attempted bringing about a socialist regime the Paris Commune being a possible exception but it is wholly ignored here , the essay is uniquely concerned with the potential freedom of reflection artists might gain if private poverty and its evils were abolished. Wilde is occupied primarily with the meaningfulness and scope of art and supposes that socialism, "The Soul of Man Under Socialism" is not a reactionary political essay about socialism.
Wilde is occupied primarily with the meaningfulness and scope of art and supposes that socialism, as it is understood at the time, might create a renewed hellenism by empowering the individual. Interestingly, Wilde makes a few prescient comments about authoritarian socialism has it eventually materialized. The volume contains further critical works by Wilde, all of them extremely worthwhile, and concerned with the validity of art criticism The Critc as Artist and the precedence of logos over reality The Decay of Lying.
Life seizes on them and uses them, even if they be to her own hurt. Young men [ What is action?
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It dies at the moment of its energy. It is a base concession to fact. The world is made by the singer for the dreamer. May 25, Coral rated it it was amazing Shelves: to-readtimes. It has led individualism entirely astray. It has made gain not growth its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and it did not know that the important thing is to be With the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true beautiful, healthy individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things and the symbols for " Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things and the symbols for things.
One will live. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. Wilde may be aesthetic, but he is not original. This is a volume of echoes, it is Swinburne and water. Some of these early poems—"Panthea," for example—are, as one would expect from a young aesthete, poems that extol pleasure and sensation: "to feel is better than to know.
An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. Perhaps the best poems of the volume are those titled "Impressions," in which "Wilde attains sharpness and total complexity in the depiction of scenes," San Juan remarked.
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This most exotic of all Wilde's poems begins with the raven-like sphinx planted in the corner of the poet's room and proceeds through a series of imagined scenes in which the sphinx is depicted as a goddess, a prophet, and a lover. Reviewers criticized the work for being sensational and artificial, but later critics have found some notable qualities; in San Juan's words, "Among all Wilde's poems, 'The Sphinx' alone betrays a masculine energy that enlivens gorgeous landscape, fusing religion, iconology, and historical facts within the current of meditation and monologue.
Frances Winwar, in Oscar Wilde and the Yellow Nineties, described this social aspect of his fame: "His life from now on assumed an air of arrogance. He would do nothing in moderation—except work. But then, his real work was accomplished when he talked. Before a group of listeners, especially if they were young and handsome and titled, he outdid himself.
The Soul of Man Under Socialism and Selected Critical Prose : Oscar Wilde :
In the spark of their admiration his mind quickened. Epigram followed epigram, one more dazzling, more preposterous than the other, yet always, like the incandescent core of the firework, with a burning truth at the heart. That Wilde told these stories at dinner parties before they were published illustrates an unusual fact about their intended audience: they were not composed for children.
A few of the stories in the first volume, particularly "The Happy Prince" and "The Selfish Giant," continually find their way into anthologies of fairy tales for children, but most of the book's nine tales do not appeal to young people.
This is particularly true of the stories in The House of Pomegranates, which generally have more elaborate plots and a more mannered style than do those in The Happy Prince and Other Tales. When asked if the tales of the second volume were intended for children, Wilde replied in a typically flippant way: "I had about as much intention of pleasing the British child as I did of pleasing the British public.
I hardly know whether to admire more the wise wit of 'The Remarkable Rocket' or the beauty and tenderness of 'The Selfish Giant': the latter is perfect in its kind. Wilde's love of beauty and his conception of its fleeting quality find expression in this story of a nightingale who sacrifices its life to produce the perfect rose. In the story's final satirical twist the beautiful rose is rejected because it does not match the color of a young girl's dress.
In Oscar Wilde, Robert K. Miller declared that this ironic turn reveals Wilde's "ambivalence toward love" that is "related to his ambivalence about women. The imaginative sympathy of the giant is similar to that which Wilde ascribes to Christ in his later work, De Profundis.
Both Quintus and Miller emphasized Wilde's moral point of view in these stories. This element has already been seen in some of the early poems, and it reappears in Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Quintus was careful to point out, however, that "Wilde's tales are not. This is Wilde's only novel, a blend of French decadence and English gothicism.
It is filled with genuinely witty dialogue and beautiful descriptive passages, while sometimes descending to the level of slick melodrama and ponderous theorizing.
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The novel details the life of a hedonistic aristocrat, Dorian Gray. When Dorian sees the portrait that Basil Hallward paints of him, he wishes he could change places with his likeness, remain always young and beautiful, and allow the portrait to bear the effects of time—and, as it turns out, the effects of sin.
As in the world of the fairy tale, the wish is granted, but at a terrible price. At the time he was writing The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde became friendly with Robert "Robbie" Ross, whom he had first met in at Oxford and who later served as Wilde's literary executor after faithfully standing by him through Wilde's trials and the horrors of Wilde's two years in prison. Montgomery Hyde, in Oscar Wilde: A Biography, cited "strong grounds for believing that it was with [Ross] that Wilde first deliberately experimented in homosexual practices.
I heard a clergyman extolling it, he only regretted some of the sentiments. A particularly scathing attack in The Scots Observer made a veiled reference to Wilde's homosexuality and suggested he take up tailoring or some other "decent" trade. For the novel's hardcover edition, published the following year, Wilde made some changes, most important of which was the addition of six chapters and the famous epigrammatic preface.
Perhaps surprisingly, the reviews this time were more favorable. Joyce Carol Oates in Critical Inquiry described the novel as a "parable of the fall" and identified Dorian's sin in his practice of involving others, "without any emotion,. His life becomes a series of one-night stands, each encounter briefer than the last.
The painter Basil Hallward, for all his goodness, sublimates his true feelings in the beautiful portrait. Lord Henry Wotton, for all his theories about the importance of indiscriminate experience, does not act. And Dorian Gray, whose actions with others lead him only to the point of prizing things such as tapestries, jewels, and vestments, unconvincingly tries to redeem himself with the village girl Hetty, but succeeds only in ending his life in a melodramatic fashion.
Though hastily written and clumsily constructed, it manages to haunt many readers with vivid memories of its visionary descriptions. From the reader's viewpoint, the picture suggests the treatment of angle and distance—the ways of telling and showing—which make up the perennial issues of the aesthetics and criticism of fiction.
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