Jerz: Media Aesthetics

1 Mar 2005
Shelton, ''The Aesthetic Realism of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray''

Waldrep, Shelton. "The Aesthetic Realism of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray." Studies in the Literary Imagination 29:1 (1996). 10p. Academic Search Elite. Reeves Library, Seton Hill University. 18 Feb 2006.

Wilde's views on realism can perhaps best be described as contradictory. Although he takes realism to task in "The Decay of Lying" and seems to move toward a version of formalism in "The Critic as Artist," in his earlier writings he was often in favor of deploying realism for certain artistic and social ends. Wilde's mentor Walter Pater referred to Attic Greece as "an age clearly of faithful observation, of what we call realism . . . . Its workmen are close students . . . of the living form as such . . ." (Greek Studies 301). With Pater, Wilde developed the idea that England's culture should become Hellenic. Greece was seen as the ultimate type of a new Renaissance of the arts. Wilde considered his work to be the precursor of this new style, an aesthetics that would combine the best of the Greek with the best of the new--realism being an important connection between the two. As he says in "The English Renaissance of Art," "to the Greek, pure artist, that work is most instinct with spiritual life which conforms most clearly to the perfect facts of physical life" (248).
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Aesthetic Realism
Excerpt: I found this excerpt from the Shelton article very intriguing - in it, Shelton claims that while Oscar Wilde renounced the use of realism in art in his essay "The Decay of Lying," he utilized realism as a means to...
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Tracked: March 1, 2005 02:31 PM
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