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The Decay of Lying: And Other Essays

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  94 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In The Decay of Lying Oscar Wilde uses his decadent ideology in an attempt to reverse and therefore reject his audiences' 'normal' conceptualizations of nature, art and morality. Wilde's views of life and art are illustrated through the use of Platonic dialogue where the character Vivian takes on the persona of Wilde. Wilde's goal is to subvert the norm by reversing its va ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Penguin Classics (first published 1891)
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Nov 07, 2010 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book, and it's because I found half of the essays largely uninteresting.

Still, "The Critic as Artist" and particularly "The Decay of Lying" and "The Soul of Man Under Socialism" are so amazing that they make the book a worthwhile buy. Passionate and witty, they show Oscar Wilde at his best. A must read.
Ana Rînceanu
The Decay of Lying
The Critic as Artist
The Truth of Masks

The Portrait of Mr. W. H. - (4 stars)

The Soul of Man under Socialism - a political essay by Oscar Wilde in which he expounds a libertarian socialist worldview (4 stars)

Pen, Pencil and Poison
The Relation of Dress to Art

A Sentimental Journey through Literature - a review of a poetry critic's book (kind of useless without the original book) (2 stars)

In Defence of Dorian Grey
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Oscar Wilde was the master of the epigram, the biting riposte. Though best known for his plays and novels, Wilde’s essays demonstrate some of his sharpest zingers.

“The Decay of Lying” is a perfect example. In this short, Platonic-style dialogue between two upper-class aesthetes of the late nineteenth-century English garden variety (picture Daniel Day Lewis in “A Room with a View”), Wilde pitches his own critical theory of Aestheticism, or “Art for Art’s Sake.” The brilliance comes from his adept
This compact, affordable collection comprises some (if not all) of Oscar Wilde’s best known and best loved essays. See “The Decay of Lying”, “The Critic as Artist” and “The Soul of Man Under Socialism” for example. Unlike Dorian Gray, these essays hardly call for defense, and they have each made for lovely, separate editions. However, I find that the value of this new collection lies elsewhere, namely in those other, perhaps more forgetful and certainly less enthusiastic essays that even college ...more
Haythem Bastawy
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
A brilliant, edited, Penguin version for Kindle readers. It is very hard to get hold of Wilde's verified works on Kindle or any other form of e-books, electronic readers mainly have available the uncopy-righted unverified editions available. This book is a very good start for making Wilde's complete and verified works available electronically. The only problem is with the price which is only a pound under the paper version. This is unfair as an e-book does not cost the publisher even half the co ...more
Odi Shonga
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
The only reason I can't give this a 5 is because I couldn't get through "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.", "Pen, Pencil, and Poison", or "A Sentimental Journey through Literature". This probably says something about me more than it does Oscar, but those are the facts. Everything else I adored and must re-read again because there are some excellent lessons about life to be learnt from them (whether that's what Wilde would have intended or not).
Ashley Kang
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing

The beauty...
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oscar Wilde's power to convince is extraordinary!
Mary Foxe
Jul 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Except for "The Truth of Masks" and the Dorian Gray section, I was not fond of this collection.
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Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read most of the essays in this collection for my literature class- The Decay of Lying, The Critic as Artist, and The Soul of Man Under Socialism. All of these are phenomenal essays that have turned my ideas about art upside down and right side up again.
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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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