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The Soul of Man Under Socialism and Selected Critical Prose : Penguin Classics - Oscar Wilde

The Soul of Man Under Socialism and Selected Critical Prose

Penguin Classics


Published: October 2001
For Ages: 18+ years old
Ships: 5 to 9 business days
5 to 9 business days
RRP $19.99

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Product Description

In his brilliant, irreverent essay 'The Soul of Man Under Socialism', Wilde turns an exuberantly sceptical eye on Victorian values and the institutions of property, marriage and the Church, asking us to envision instead a society made more vital through tolerance of individualism and disidence. Wilde pursues the argument for personal and artistic freedom in his essays from Intentions such as the acclaimed dialogues 'The Decay of Lying' and 'The Critic as Artist', which provide witty dramatizations of his views on life and art and a profound expression of his aesthetic theory.

About the Author

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854, the son of an eminent eye-surgeon and a nationalist poetess who wrote under the pseudonym of 'Speranza'. He went to Trinity College, Dublin and then to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he began to propagandize the new Aesthetic (or 'Art for Art's Sake') Movement.

Despite winning a first and the Newdigate Prize for Poetry, Wilde failed to obtain an Oxford scholarship, and was forced to earn a living by lecturing and writing for periodicals. He published a largely unsuccessful volume of poems in 1881 and in the next year undertook a lecture-tour of the United States in order to promote the D'Oyle Carte production of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera, Patience.

After his marriage to Constance Lloyd in 1884, he tried to establish himself as a writer, but with little initial success. However, his three volumes of short fiction, The Happy Prince (1888), Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (1891) and A House of Pomegranates (1891), together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), gradually won him a reputation as a modern writer with an original talent, a reputation confirmed and enhanced by the phenomenal success of his Society Comedies – Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, all performed on the West End stage between 1892 and 1895.

Success, however, was short-lived. In 1891 Wilde had met and fallen extravagantly in love with Lord Alfred Douglas. In 1895, when his success as a dramatist was at its height, Wilde brought an unsuccessful libel action against Douglas's father, the Marquess of Queensberry. Wilde lost the case and two trials later was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for acts of gross indecency. As a result of this experience he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He was released from prison in 1897 and went into an immediate self-imposed exile on the Continent. He died in Paris in ignominy in 1900.

Note on the Texts
Mr. Whistler's Ten o'Clockp. 3
The Relation of Dress of Artp. 6
A Sentimental Journey through Literaturep. 9
Mr. Pater's Imaginary Portraitsp. 12
[The Actor as Critic]p. 15
Poetical Socialistsp. 17
Mr. Swinburne's Last Volumep. 20
Mr. Pater's Last Volumep. 24
The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (expanded version 1889)p. 31
In Defence of Dorian Gray (1890-91)p. 103
The Soul of Man under Socialism (1891)p. 125
The Decay of Lyingp. 163
Pen, Pencil and Poisonp. 193
The Critic as Artist - Part Ip. 213
The Critic as Artist - Part IIp. 243
The Truth of Masksp. 280
Notesp. 305
Further Readingp. 379
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140433876
ISBN-10: 0140433872
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: October 2001
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1