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Oscar Wilde's Decay of Lying


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In light of Trab's and Cole's replies in another thread, I feel it best to state the original quote of Oscar wilde is from his dialog, The Decay Of Lying

It may be helpful to read this before concluding that (to quote Wilde in full), Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life, is inaccurate or irrelevant.

This is not the only reference to Wilde's use of his philosophical consideration of Life and Art, but the others are not as easily or as quickly accessible. For those who are interested we may discuss them further if you so desire.


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I desire, but I'm not entirely sure about the discussion.

Well, we could start with discussing the above reference. (The Decay of Lying.)

There are many points raised in it which I have seen discussed in the forums as to the value of art and its measure, especially when he refers to romantic fiction.

Of course we must be mindful that Oscar was a self proclaimed aesthete. (No, that is not a lisping athlete.) :wink:

However behind that concern for form, was a much deeper philosophy built on the classical tradition of the history of art.

To understand what the world lost when Oscar was imprisoned is to understand so much of what we have lost in creative form from his inspiration.

To understand the pain and degradation that he suffered is akin to understanding the horror of losing the creative spark that makes life meaningful, especially where love is involved.

Yet today many critics are only too keen to find fault with his reasoning, his flamboyance, and his philosophy of art and life. They are still putting him on trial for loves they do not understand, whether it be the love of youth or the love of life, art and passion for style and form.

They quote his wit without his style and revelations and then find him guilty for the crimes they commit against Art. The crimes they commit against life are the ones from which we all suffer.

The Decay of Lying is not as easy a read as it was 100 years ago. Many of the authors he cites have become unknown or fallen into obscurity, or worse still, have been made the subject of English literature classes, where students are encouraged to understand them.

Still it is not necessary to know these authors if one bears in mind that they are simply pawns for Wilde's character's to illustrate a point.

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