Oscar Wilde

 

 

The True Function and Value of Criticism;
with some Remarks on the Importance of Doing Nothing: A Dialogue

[Auszug]

 

The art that is frankly decorative is the art to live with. It is, of all our visible arts, the one art that creates in us both mood and temperament. Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. The harmony that resides in the delicate proportions of lines and masses becomes mirrored in the mind. The repetitions of pattern give us rest. The marvels of design stir the imagination. In the mere loveliness of the materials employed there are latent elements of culture. Nor is this all. By its deliberate rejection of Nature as the ideal of beauty, as well as of the imitative method of the ordinary painter, decorative art not merely prepares the soul for the reception of true imaginative work, but develops in it that sense of form which is the basis of creative no less than of critical achievement. For the real artist is he who proceeds, not from feeling to form, but from form to thought and passion. He does not first conceive an idea, and then say to himself, 'I will put my idea into a complex metre of fourteen lines,' but, realising the beauty of the sonnet-scheme, he conceives certain modes of music and methods of rhyme, and the mere form suggests what is to fill it and make it intellectually and emotionally complete. From time to time the world cries out against some charming artistic poet, because, to use its hackneyed and silly phrase, he has 'nothing to say.' But if he had something to say, he would probably say it, and the result would be tedious. It is just because he has no new message, that he can do beautiful work. He gains his inspiration from form, and from form purely, as an artist should. A real passion would ruin him. Whatever actually occurs is spoiled for art. All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

 

 

 

 

Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The Nineteenth Century.
Bd. 28, 1890: Juli, S. 123-147; September, S. 435-459.
URL: https://archive.org/details/nineteenthcentu07unkngoog

Gezeichnet: OSCAR WILDE.

Unser Auszug: September, S. 452.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

 

 

Zeitschriften-Repertorium

 

Aufgenommen in

 

Kommentierte und kritische Ausgaben

 

 

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Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer