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The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material .the
Despite that censorship, The Picture of Dorian Gray offended the moral sensibilities of British book reviewers, some of whom said that Oscar Wilde merited prosecution for violating the laws guarding public morality. In response, Wilde aggressively defended his novel and art in correspondence with the British press, although he personally made excisions of some of the most controversial material when revising and lengthening the story for book publication the following year. The longer and revised version of The Picture of Dorian Gray published in book form in featured an aphoristic prefaceóa defence of the artist's rights and of art for art's sakeóbased in part on his press defences of the novel the previous year. The content, style, and presentation of the preface made it famous in its own right, as a literary and artistic manifesto. In April , the publishing firm of Ward, Lock and Company , who had distributed the shorter, more inflammatory, magazine version in England the previous year, published the revised version of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Oscar Wilde's preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray consists of a list of Wilde's aphorisms that deal directly with art, artists, critics, and audience but only obliquely with the novel. They speak to the importance of beauty espoused by the Aesthetic movement. The preface offers one of Wilde's most famous aphorisms: "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The true artist is not out to prove anything and makes no judgments of right or wrong.
The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
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The preface is a collection of free-standing statements that form a manifesto about the purpose of art, the role of the artist, and the value of beauty. Signed by Oscar Wilde , the preface serves as a primer for how Wilde intends the novel to be read. He defines the artist as "the creator of beautiful things," and the critic as "he who can translate into another manner or new material his impression of beautiful things. Since art exists solely to communicate beauty, Wilde warns against reading too much into any work of art: "Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Chapter 1 opens with a description of Basil Hallward , a respected but reclusive painter, who is entertaining his friend, Lord Henry Wotton. It is a beautiful spring day. Lord Henry admires Basil's latest work-in-progress, a full-length portrait of a beautiful young man, and urges him to show it at a gallery.
The Picture of Dorian Gray ó A novella short novel about a physically beautiful but amoral young man who owns a magical portrait. As he commits acts of cruelty and vice, his own physical body remains perfect but the portrait changes, turning progressively more hideous as it reflects his character until he eventually has to keep it hidden in the attic. Wilde knew the novella would be controversial, so he wrote this preface as a way to anticipate and rebut objections to it. Realism ó Realism as a literary genre emphasizes showing life in its proper proportion, which means it does not concern itself with extraordinary people, extreme circumstances, or fanciful plots. Rather, it focuses on how people behave and function in their daily lives.
The Picture of Dorian Gray