Intentions: The Decay of Lying, Pen, Pencil and Poison, the Critic as Artist, the Truth of Masks

Intentions: The Decay of Lying, Pen, Pencil and Poison, the Critic as Artist, the Truth of Masks

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Intentions: The Decay of Lying, Pen, Pencil and Poison, the Critic as Artist, the Truth of Masks

Intentions: The Decay of Lying, Pen, Pencil and Poison, the Critic as Artist, the Truth of Masks

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Paradox is never so absolutely king as when you try to determine the separate ways of life and of literature. The poet lives his life, you say, and that is one matter; the poem lives its life, and that is quite another matter. Between the writer and his writings the discriminating must observe divorce.... Then, directly contradicting, is the theory of the goodly who are touched with the taint of Puritanism. Every written line, these hold, is the intimate expression of self. The sinner cannot write other than sinful things.

The farther you fare, if you would reach dogma on this point, the deeper will you mire. Paradox alone rules. And rules nowhere so supremely as in the case of Oscar Wilde. If, on the one hand, we plead that it is the man's letters, not his life, that posterity should cherish; on the other, it is folly for us to forget how completely, in Wilde, the artist . . .

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