Oscal Wilde

The Importance Of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde

London, 1895

Wilde was concerned about the effect of moralising on art, he believed in art's redemptive, developmental powers: "Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine." In his only political

text The Soul of Man Under Socialism, he argued political conditions should establish this primacy, and concluded that the government most amenable to artists was no government at all. Wilde envisions a society where mechanisation has freed human effort from the burden of necessity, effort which can instead be expended on artistic creation.


Text source: Project Gutenberg



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