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Oscar Wilde on art and books

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 his impression of beautiful things.
The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

— from the Preface of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.


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1 Comment

  1. ben turner

    do you know the quote of wilde’s which basically suggests that one can dismiss art if it is loved by the public – or rather that generally, anything that is mainstream is beneath good art?

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