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The Decay of Lying : A Dialogue Oscar Wilde, January 1889

By Wilde, Oscar

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Book Id: WPLBN0000673326
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 110.40 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2007
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Title: The Decay of Lying : A Dialogue Oscar Wilde, January 1889  
Author: Wilde, Oscar
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Literature, Poetry
Publication Date:
Publisher: The Victorian Prose Archive


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Wilde, O., & Alfred J. Drak, E. B. (n.d.). The Decay of Lying : A Dialogue Oscar Wilde, January 1889. Retrieved from

Victorian Literature

Excerpts: Cyril (coming in through the open window from the terrace). My dear Vivian, don?t coop you up all day in the library. It is a perfectly lovely afternoon. Let us go and lie on the grass and smoke cigarettes and enjoy nature. Vivian. Enjoy nature! I am glad to say that I have entirely lost that faculty. People tell us that art makes us love nature more than we loved her before; that it reveals her secrets to us; and that after a careful study of Corot and Constable we see things in her that had escaped us. My own experience is that the more we study art, the less we care for nature. What art really reveals to us is nature?s lack of design, her curious crudities, her extraordinary monotony, her absolutely unfinished condition. When I look at a landscape I cannot help seeing all its defects. It is fortunate for us, however, that nature is so imperfect, as otherwise we should have had no art at all. Art is our spirited protest, our gallant attempt to teach Nature her proper place. As for the infinite variety of Nature, that is a pure myth. It is not to be found in Nature herself, but in the imagination, or fancy, or cultivated blindness, of the man who looks at her.


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