Oscar Wilde

 

 

The True Function and Value of Criticism;
with some Remarks on the Importance of Doing Nothing: A Dialogue

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The art that is frankly decorative is the art to live with. It is, of all our visible arts, the one art that creates in us both mood and temperament. Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. The harmony that resides in the delicate proportions of lines and masses becomes mirrored in the mind. The repetitions of pattern give us rest. The marvels of design stir the imagination. In the mere loveliness of the materials employed there are latent elements of culture. Nor is this all. By its deliberate rejection of Nature as the ideal of beauty, as well as of the imitative method of the ordinary painter, decorative art not merely prepares the soul for the reception of true imaginative work, but develops in it that sense of form which is the basis of creative no less than of critical achievement. For the real artist is he who proceeds, not from feeling to form, but from form to thought and passion. He does not first conceive an idea, and then say to himself, 'I will put my idea into a complex metre of fourteen lines,' but, realising the beauty of the sonnet-scheme, he conceives certain modes of music and methods of rhyme, and the mere form suggests what is to fill it and make it intellectually and emotionally complete. From time to time the world cries out against some charming artistic poet, because, to use its hackneyed and silly phrase, he has 'nothing to say.' But if he had something to say, he would probably say it, and the result would be tedious. It is just because he has no new message, that he can do beautiful work. He gains his inspiration from form, and from form purely, as an artist should. A real passion would ruin him. Whatever actually occurs is spoiled for art. All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

 

 

 

 

Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The Nineteenth Century.
Bd. 28, 1890: Juli, S. 123-147; September, S. 435-459.

Unser Auszug: September, S. 452.

Gezeichnet: OSCAR WILDE.

URL: https://archive.org/details/nineteenthcentu07unkngoog

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).


The Nineteenth Century   online
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006061863
URL: http://opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de/title/6704-0
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The Nineteenth Century   inhaltsanalytische Bibliographie
The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900.
Hrsg. von Walter E. Houghton. Bd. 2. Toronto 1972.

 

 

Zeitschriften-Repertorium

 

Aufgenommen in

 

Kommentierte und kritische Ausgaben

 

 

 

Literatur

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetiken der Lyrik: Von der Normpoetik zur Autorenpoetik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 2-15.

Bristow, Joseph u.a. (Hrsg.): Wilde Discoveries. Traditions, Histories, Archives. Toronto u.a. 2013.

Burdorf, Dieter: Gespräche über Kunst. Zur Konjunktur einer literarischen Form um 1900. In: Jugendstil und Kulturkritik. Zur Literatur und Kunst um 1900. Hrsg. von Andreas Beyer u.a. Heidelberg 1999 (= Jenaer Germanistische Forschungen; N. F., 7), S. 29-50.

Danson, Lawrence: Wilde's Intentions. The Artist in his Criticism. Oxford 1997.

Evangelista, Stefano (Hrsg.): The Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe. London 2010.

Grech, Leanne: Oscar Wilde's Aesthetic Education. The Oxford Classical Curriculum. Cham 2019.

Hänsel-Hohenhausen, Markus von: Die frühe deutschsprachige Oscar-Wilde-Rezeption (1893 - 1906). Bibliographie. 2. Aufl. Egelsbach 1999.

Hall, Jason D. u.a. (Hrsg.): Decadent Poetics. Literature and Form at the British Fin de Siècle. New York 2013 (= Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture).

Horrocks, Jamie: Vernon Lee, Oscar Wilde, and the Dialogue of 'New Aesthetics'. In: Nineteenth-Century Prose 40.1 (2013), S. 201-239.

Knox, Melissa: Oscar Wilde in the 1990s. The Critic as Creator. Rochester, NY u.a. 2001.

Landerouin, Yves: La Créativité du "critique comme artiste" – retour sur la théorie wildienne. In: Revue de Littérature Comparée 369 (2019.1), S. 109-119.

Lipking, Lawrence: Poet-critics. In: The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Bd. 7: Modernism and the New Criticism. Hrsg. von A. Walton Litz. Cambridge u.a. 2000, S. 439-467.

Martus, Steffen u.a. (Hrsg.): Lyrik im 19. Jahrhundert. Gattungspoetik als Reflexionsmedium der Kultur. Bern u.a. 2005 (= Publikationen zur Zeitschrift für Germanistik, 11).

Méry, Marie-Claire: Die Kritik der Kritik im Ästhetizismus der Jahrhundertwende oder: Der Kritiker als Künstler. In: Der Begriff der Kritik in der Romantik. Hrsg. von Ulrich Breuer u.a. Paderborn 2015, S. 269-286.

Platt, Deborah van der: Visualising the Critical: Artistic Convention and Eclecticism in Oscar Wilde's Writings on the Decorative Arts. In: Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies 19.1 (2014), S. 5-19.

Powell, Kerry u.a. (Hrsg.): Oscar Wilde in Context. Cambridge u.a. 2013.

Waithe, Marcus / White, Claire (Hrsg.): The Labour of Literature in Britain and France, 1830-1910. Authorial Work Ethics. London 2018.

Warner, Eric / Hough, Graham (Hrsg.): Strangeness and Beauty. An Anthology of Aesthetic Criticism 1840–1910. 2 Bde. Cambridge u.a. 2009.

Womack, Peter: Dialogue and Leisure at the Fin de Siècle. In: Cambridge Quarterly 42.2 (2013), S. 134-156.

 

 

Edition
Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer