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The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  94 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Although known primarily as the irreverent but dazzlingly witty playwright who penned The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde was also an able and farsighted critic. He was an early advocate of criticism as an independent branch of literature and stressed its vital role in the creative process. Scholars continue to debate many of Wilde's critical positions.

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Paperback, 474 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by University Of Chicago Press
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Jun 15, 2013 Bruce rated it it was amazing
This is a compilation made by Richard Ellis of all Wilde's literary criticism, and the best pieces remain the most familiar, i.e., "The Decay of Lying," "The Critic as Artist" and The Soul of Man Under Socialism -- essential reading for anyone interested in Wilde the artist or the man. I also found notable the review of Walter Pater's Appreciations with this moving defense of bias:

It is possible, of course, that I may exaggerate about them [i.e., Pater's books]. I certainly hope that I do; for w
Sep 06, 2012 George rated it it was amazing
I had to add this old time favorite. In "The Soul of Man Under Socialism", Wilde shows his theoretical power, and delineates his vision for a world free of unjustifiable labor and of the degradation of human beings as individuals in a productive society. His criticism of free market systems which exploit people, includes a much notable statement about how such conditions would turn art into a farce, and how they would ultimately debilitate the respectability and autonomy of artists and other cre ...more
Oct 28, 2007 Elsie rated it really liked it
How can this have an average rating of 5.2?? I really like Oscar Wilde, but I never know if he means what he says (I know that's the point). This reminds me of my brother that way. I can definitely give .5 stars more for saying in the last paragraph that he disagrees with almost everything in the book. And I do think that socialism is the only way to really protect the individual. So.
Feb 05, 2015 Negar rated it it was amazing
Wilde's letters to St James's Gazette are hilarious!
G.B. Gabbler
Jul 31, 2015 G.B. Gabbler rated it it was amazing
Gabbler Recommends.
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being E ...more
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“The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.” 730 likes
“I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being misunderstood. Don't degrade me into the position of giving you useful information. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” 51 likes
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