March 01, 2005

Aesthetic Realism

I found the Waldrep article very intriguing - in it, Wa;drep 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 connect Hellenism with his new style of art. I was glad to see someone more scholarly than myself call Wilde's inconsistencies to attention - I found that his "Decay of Lying" was in direct opposition to his preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I examine in my paper Wilde's belief that art should hold no morals despite his attachment of a moral to The Picture of Dorian Gray. Waldrep says that: "Admittedly, Wilde's own work exhibits an ethical dimension, yet, as in much of his thinking, one finds a contradiction be4tween his desire to absolve artists of the responsibility to moralize and his own tendency to construct much of his prose fiction and poetry as moralizing parables."

Are these inconsistencies flaws of Wilde's, or is he making another statement that I am simply not understanding? Waldrep believes that his novel is combination of aestheticism, realism, and naturalism, which, when combined, create a very dense novel that goes beyond mere moralizing. I shall explore this in my paper....

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at March 1, 2005 02:14 PM | TrackBack
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