The decay of lying. The decay of lying Essay 2022-12-08

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The Decay of Lying is an essay written by Oscar Wilde, published in the magazine "The Nineteenth Century" in 1889. In this essay, Wilde argues that lying, or the art of deception, is a necessary and valuable aspect of human society. He contends that truth is boring and uninteresting, and that lying allows for the creation of beauty and art.

Wilde begins by stating that lying is a "noble art," and that it is the foundation of all literature. He asserts that truth is dull and uninspired, and that it is the role of the artist to create beautiful and imaginative lies. According to Wilde, the true artist is one who is able to create a "world of romance," in which the boundaries of reality are blurred and the imagination is given free reign.

Wilde also asserts that lying is a form of social etiquette, and that it is necessary for the maintenance of civil society. He argues that lying allows people to maintain their dignity and avoid embarrassing situations. He cites the example of a hostess who tells a guest that their food is delicious, even if it is not, as a necessary and harmless act of deception.

However, Wilde also acknowledges that there is a danger in lying, as it can lead to mistrust and the erosion of relationships. He suggests that the key to avoiding this negative outcome is to be selective in one's lies, and to use them only for the purpose of creating beauty and art.

In conclusion, Wilde's essay The Decay of Lying presents a complex and nuanced view of lying, arguing that it is both a valuable and necessary aspect of human society, but also one that must be used with caution and discretion. Despite the potential dangers, Wilde maintains that the art of lying is an integral part of the human experience, and that it allows us to create beauty and imagination in a world that is often mundane and uninspired.

‎The Decay of Lying on Apple Books

the decay of lying

Wilde also introduces meta qualities through the two anecdotes Vivian tells, in which reality is said to mirror what has been laid out in fictional novels. This is the principle of the new æsthetics; and it is this, more than that vital connection between form and substance, on which Mr. This is the secret of Nature's charm, as well as the explanation of Nature's weakness. This is one of the objects of the club. This is no isolated instance that we are giving.

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The decay of lying Essay

the decay of lying

Nobody can possibly care for Delobelle with his 'II faut lutter pour l'art,' or for Valmajour with his eternal refrain about the nightingale, or for the poet in Jack with his 'moss cruels,' now that we have learned from Vingt Ans de ma Vie Litéraire that these characters were taken directly from life. They brought their types with them, and Life with her keen imitative faculty set herself to supply the master with models. Charles Dickens was depressing enough in all conscience when he tried to arouse our sympathy for the victims of the poorlaw administration; but Charles Reade, an artist, a scholar, a man with a true sense of beauty, raging and roaring over the abuses of contemporary life like a common pamphleteer or a sensational journalist, is really a sight for the angels to weep over. She told me that she had felt an absolutely irresistible impulse to follow the heroine step by step in her strange and fatal progress, and that it was with a feeling of real terror that she had looked forward to the last few chapters of the story. Lying for the sake of the improvement of the young, which is the basis of home education, still lingers amongst us, and its advantages are so admirably set forth in the early books of Plato's Republic that it is unnecessary to dwell upon them here.

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The Decay of Lying Study Guide

the decay of lying

After all, what is a fine lie? Wilde is distinguishing the ordinary lie such as the way a politician uses it to remain in power, which is vile and without interest, to the artistic lie, which creates a separate world of meanings finding his truth into respect and improvement of its code. I should have thought that our politicians kept up that habit. V IVIAN reading in a very clear, musical voice. I think it's very important to keep the context in mind in which Oscar wrote this essay. He forgets that when Art surrenders her imaginative medium she surrenders everything Goethe says, somewhere--In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister, 'It is in working within limits that the master reveals himself,' and the limitation, the very condition for of any art is style. CYRIL: Surely you would acknowledge that Art expresses the temper of its age, the spitit of its time, the moral and social conditions that surround it, and under whose influence it is produced. They have become the mere mannerism of a clique, and the exaggerated realism of their method gives dull people bronchitis.


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The Decay Of Lying by Oscar Wilde

the decay of lying

The only nature that imitates art is human nature, and that is also the nature that creates it. He is like the lady in the French comedy who keeps talking about "le beau ciel d'Italie. It has its own history of its progress. It is a humiliating confession, but we are all of us made out of the same stuff. It is our brain that she quickens to life.

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The Decay of Lying

the decay of lying

Jekyll reads dangerously like an experiment out of the Lancet. Besides what I am pleading for is Lying in art. This is an interesting exercise, but for pragmatic purposes I will stick to the more humbling notion that humans are not the centre of the Universe. What is the subject? In no case does it reproduce its age. The man continues to be a perplexing contradiction: a charlatan whose critiques on the insipid nature of the middle class nonetheless embolden their banality and, in return, gift him with the praise he so desires yet despises! Holbein's drawings of the men and women of his time impress us with a sense of their absolute reality.


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Oscar Wilde: The Decay of Lying

the decay of lying

However, proceed with your article. Out of the sea will rise Behemoth and Leviathan, and sail round the high-pooped galleys, as they do on the delightful maps of those ages when books on geography were actually readable. It cannot help being so. At first in the hands of the monks Dramatic Art was abstract, decorative, and mythological. This approach to literature is often called art for art's sake or aestheticism.

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The Decay of Lying Main Ideas

the decay of lying

He created life, he did not copy it. Sunsets are quite old-fashioned. My dear fellow, whatever you may say, it is merely a dramatic utterance, and no more represents Shakespeare's real views upon art than the speeches of Iago represent his real views upon morals. The BlueBook is rapidly becoming his ideal both for method and manner. Who cares what happens to them? Presents views that I find disagreeable and gives me some perspective of why one would hold such views 3. There is one more passage, but it is purely practical.

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The Decay of Lying by Oscar Wilde: An Overview

the decay of lying

I am afraid you are not eligible. I read this for my Victorian Literature module at University. Surely they are like the people they pretend to represent? They merely frighten the sky at evening into violent chromolithographic effects. Oscar Wilde elaborates them convincingly in a dialogue between characters named Vivian and Cyril. Are you prepared to prove that? A false Vautrin might be delightful. In the following case the imitation was self-conscious.

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