Hot Best Seller

Intentions: (low cost). limited edition

Availability: Ready to download

Intentions is the set of four basic and fundamental tests about criticism and aesthetics in art. It Contains: The decay of Lie Pen, pencil and poison The critic as artist The truth about masks


Compare

Intentions is the set of four basic and fundamental tests about criticism and aesthetics in art. It Contains: The decay of Lie Pen, pencil and poison The critic as artist The truth about masks

30 review for Intentions: (low cost). limited edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    leynes

    I own The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde and read a bunch of his shorter essays (all of which are probably not published in Intentions but who cares.) I desperately wanted to review them and thought it would be useful to do that collectively (I'm reviewing the bigger essays seperately). So here goes nothing. Mrs Langtry as Hester Grazebrook – 7 November 1882 During his visit to the States, Oscar made the acquaintance of many well-known actresses, Lilie Langtry being one of them. When he doubled a I own The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde and read a bunch of his shorter essays (all of which are probably not published in Intentions but who cares.) I desperately wanted to review them and thought it would be useful to do that collectively (I'm reviewing the bigger essays seperately). So here goes nothing. Mrs Langtry as Hester Grazebrook – 7 November 1882 During his visit to the States, Oscar made the acquaintance of many well-known actresses, Lilie Langtry being one of them. When he doubled as a guest drama critic for the New York World, he reviewed the actress's début as Hester Grazebrook in Tom Taylor's unexceptional old play An Unequal Match. Sporting a new red suit that made him look like a 'red squash', in the jaundiced opinion of another theatergoer, Oscar produced a fulsome review that was remarkable for both what it said and what it left unsaid. Lantry, he wrote, was 'the ideal representation of marvelous beauty'. Hers was a beauty 'based on absolute mathematical laws' – he neglected to furnish the formula – a 'mingling of classic grace with absolute reality.' He pointedly said nothing about her acting ability, perhaps adhering to the adage that the less said the better. ;) Other critics were not so merciful. The New York Dramatic Mirror found Langtry weak-voiced and stiff-limbed, and predicted that 'she is not and perhaps never will be an actress of genuine worth.' Ouch. I love that Oscar decided against hurting the feelings of that poor woman. It's crazy to think that, later in life, he as well would experience what it was like to be slandered in the press. He ends his review in his typical Oscar fashion: 'But then it is only the impossible things that are worth doing nowadays!' Woman's Dress – 14 October 1884 During his time as a contributor to The Pall Mall Gazette, Oscar received many responses from his readers – good and bad. In Woman's Dress [aka Oscar – The Fasion Expert] he takes upon 'that most charming of all pleasures, the pleasure of answering one's critics'. ;) [I'm still hollering.] Oscar was an advocate for comfortable clothes. He was outspoken against the usage of corsets and high heels, which is pretty fucking cool considering the prevalent attitudes in Victorian London. He argued that with comfortable clothes 'there is more health, and consequently more beauty.' Aww. He's such a good boy! I loved how easily he dismissed the critical letters he received concerning that people (of people who believed that a woman's dress code ought to be more strict). Now, as regards to the first of these two statements, I will say, to begin with, that the warmth of apparel does not depend really on the number of garments worn, but on the material of which they are made. Preach it, mister, he knew his shit. Overall this essay really delighted me because it showed that Oscar was an advocate of woman's rights in some part and refused to conform to the standard set by society. Mr Whistler's Ten O'Clock – 21 February 1885 This is a review of a lecture on art by Mr Whistler that Oscar attended and quite enjoyed. He mused about Whistler's charming ease and grace of manner. It was interesting to see how Oscar's opinion on Art changed throughout his life. In this review he states that 'an artist is not an isolated fact; he is the resultant of a certain milieu and a certain entourage. Later in life, after having published some plays and fiction pieces of his own, this view changed entirely. He came to the conclusion that artists were completely detached from society and not a representation of their age and cutlure. Dinners and Dishes – 7 March 1885 This review of a cookbook was such a gold mine. It's only two pages long, so treat yourself and read it. In it Oscar muses about the imporant question of macaroni. [I SHIT YOU NOT] He also talks about the fact that Risotto is a delightful dish which is too rarely seen in England. And that he was happy that the cook managed to come up with a recipe that made Brussel sprouts eatable, and I quote, 'the last is, of course, a masterpiece.' Oh myyyy, my inner Oscar-fangirl is so happy right now. These are facts I didn't know I needed in my life. Hamlet at the Lyceum – 9 May 1885 Oscar went to see Hamlet at the Lyceum in London and then reviewed the performance for the Dramatic Review. He states that he has seen many audiences more interesting than the actors, and that he has often heard better dialogue in the foyer than on the stage. At the Lyceum however, this was rarely the case. The review is written in his usual humouristic manner. I literally spit out my tea when I read some of his hilarious statements. I would like, in fact, to use the word ovation, but a pedantic professer has recently informed us that this expression is not to be employed except when a sheep is sacrificed. It's always of great interest to me to see in which way Oscar examined Art. He made the distincion between living and existing, and here he talked about the difference between reciting a passage and acting one. Additionally, it was fun to see what he thought of Hamlet as a play. We learn that he was never able to distinguish Guildenstern from Rosencrantz and that he considers Ophelia to be the most difficult part. Reading his review actually made me wanna reread Hamlet. s Olivia at the Lyceum – 30 May 1885 This review wasn't all that interesting to me because I am not familiar with the play discussed. Nonetheless, I liked that Oscar talked about studying the same subject under different conditions of art (e.g. a poem vs a play vs a short story). It also made me ridiculously happy to see how unapologeticaly gay some of these passages were. He mused about Thornhill being 'an admirable picture of a fascinating young rake' and that he was pleased to learn, above all, that Mr Burchell had a 'charming and attractive nephew.' Alrighty. ;) A Handbook to Marriage – 18 November 1885 Oscar begins his review with the following words: 'In spite of its somewhat alarming title this book may be highly recommended to everyone.' I was a little scared about what Oscar would spit out on that touchy subject matter but was surprised at how well he handled it. In our day it is best for man to be married, and men must give up the tyranny in married life which was once so dear to them, and which, we are afraid [!], lingers still, here and there. I was pretty relieved to see that Oscar tried to promote the equality of men and women. Oh, I can't deny you this last fact, he uses the words 'Scotch lassie' once and I never cringed so hard in my life. Balzac in English – 13 September 1886 Oscar being a huge fan of Balzac contemplates in this review why he is so rarely read in England. This whole thing is basically him roasting the terrible English translators. Being fluent in French as well as in English, he was appaled to see with what horrible translations these people came up with. and to translate 'son coeur avait un calus à l'endroit du loyer' by 'his heart was a callus in the direction of the lease' is an insult to two languages. It was also delightful to read how much he appreciated a well-written book. He proved himself to be a true bibliophile stating that he could understand anyone who would rather stay at home and read than meet their friends outside. In spite of this, there are many people who havew declared the Comédie humaine to be indigestible. Perhaps it is: but then what about truffles? Exactly, what about them? ;) A Ride Through Morocco – 8 October 1886 This is yet another book review, so Oscar himself has never been to Morocco. Nonetheless, being the ignorant white male that he was, he judged the country pretty harshly talking about the fact that 'freedom of thought has been killed by the Koran' and that 'there is no doubt that in Morocco England has interests to defend and a mission to pursue.' UGH! I could cry. All of this colonialist bullshit makes me wanna puke. That's not how I raised my son. The American Invasion – 23 March 1887 In this essay Oscar examines, yet again, the differences between the US and the UK. He says that one can dine in New York, but one does not dwell there. He thinks that American barbarism is far more interesting than American civilisation. Americans would sound like a series of exploding crackers. American girls have a wonderful charm, he states, whereas their mothers are dull and dreary. Basically, Oscar is judging everyone left and right as if it were nobody's business. All those generalizations about people he didn't even knew. Ugh! It's enough to piss me off. Nonetheless, I had to smirk upon reading this: The American mother is a tedious person. The American father is better, for he is never seen in London. I admit it, he got me there. It's interesting to see how his view on America changed five years after lecturing there. I'll definitely research what prompted this change. Two Biographies of Keats – 27 September 1887 I don't care all that much about Keats but it was interesting to see Oscar's approach to art. He thinks that seperating the man from the artist is a mistake. He sees them as one. Also, he knew of Colerdige's Ode to a Nightingale and that makes me very happy. Aristotle at Afternoon Tea – 16 December 1887 This is Oscar's review of a social guide on how débutantes and dandies should behave when going out to dine. It was fun to see with which points Oscar agreed and with which he didn't. He agreed that nothing can be more irritating than a person always repeting their phrases. It was fun to know that he would later write one of his female characters exactly this way to make her appear stupid and tedious. It's interesting to see how much thought he put into the shaping of his characters concerning their language. He also thought that it's a faux pas to constantly apologize for one's own shortcomings/stupidity. And, as for sympathy, 'what could be more detestable than the man, or woman, who insists on agreeing with everybody.' To succeed among one's social superiors one must have no hesitation in contradicting them. I know Oscar was a little shit-head but you don't even know what I would give to have witnessed him live at one of the many London dinner parties he attended. The maxim, 'If you find the company dull, blame yourself,' seems to us somewhat optimistic, and we have no sympathy at all with the professional story-teller who is really a great bore at a dinner-table. Oh, Oscar, let's be pessimistic together! Mr Morris on Tapestry – 2 November 1888 I shit you not, Oscar went to a lecture by Mr William Morris on the fucking topic of tapestry. Oh boy, that man definitely had too much time on his hands. Anyways it was interesting to see that Oscar thought that limitations (e.g. space, time, money) would make artists more creative and productive since they would be forced to concentrate. Kind of have to agree on that. I never get shit done unless someone pressures me. ;) London Models – January 1889 In this essay Oscar is basically shitting on models as a whole. He isn't a fan of these modern models at all because they would do anything for me (even landscape, if necessary. :D You probably won't get this joke but you have to read the essay then. MUAHAHA). None of them can talk Greek, but all of them want to look Greek. So he's basically whining about the fact that culture is slowly but surely becoming superficial. And, so he infers, when art becomes artificial it becomes monotonous. It is really of very little use to dress up a London girl in Greek draperies and to paint her as a goddess. The robe may be the robe of Athens, but the face is usually the face of Brompton. I'm lowkey living for his pettiness though. Anyways, none of this really matters (to me, at least) because he also talked about fucking gymnastics and acrobatics (my passion) and how beautiful it is. He also states that we live in a world that 'reads too much to be wise, and thinks to much to be beautiful'. I'm shook!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura ☾

    “For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world” A collection of writings and observations, Intentions ponders topics such as what art is and whether criticism can be an art form to how wardrobe details affect a play and the audience’s perception of the play. A little pretentious at times, but still rather entertaining, with Wilde’s usual sass and wit and incredible quote-ability, this was a thoroughly enterta “For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world” A collection of writings and observations, Intentions ponders topics such as what art is and whether criticism can be an art form to how wardrobe details affect a play and the audience’s perception of the play. A little pretentious at times, but still rather entertaining, with Wilde’s usual sass and wit and incredible quote-ability, this was a thoroughly entertaining read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    T. Renee

    The Decay of Lying is absolutely the most brilliant thing I've ever read. It's witty and relevant and insightful. When refering someone to a classic, it's number one on my list of absolute must reads. The Decay of Lying is absolutely the most brilliant thing I've ever read. It's witty and relevant and insightful. When refering someone to a classic, it's number one on my list of absolute must reads.

  4. 4 out of 5

    christine ♡

    Gosh, I'm blown away. I just don't know what to say. This book.. this book is something else. It's on a whole new level. This book is so witty, so elegant in a way, so bold, so phenomenal, so unique. Oscar Wilde is the best, truly! Gosh, I'm blown away. I just don't know what to say. This book.. this book is something else. It's on a whole new level. This book is so witty, so elegant in a way, so bold, so phenomenal, so unique. Oscar Wilde is the best, truly!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mina_rrat

    If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use reading it at all. Intentions by Oscar Wilde, is a book which lets me ponder my current stance towards Art, Criticism and truth. The first part of the book, where Vivian and Cyril talk about Art and Life, put me more on the side of Cyril because for me Art does not make Life, for me, Life is Life. Nothing else. However, when Ernest and Gilbert start their conversation on Everything and Nothing, I could understand Gilbert's appr If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use reading it at all. Intentions by Oscar Wilde, is a book which lets me ponder my current stance towards Art, Criticism and truth. The first part of the book, where Vivian and Cyril talk about Art and Life, put me more on the side of Cyril because for me Art does not make Life, for me, Life is Life. Nothing else. However, when Ernest and Gilbert start their conversation on Everything and Nothing, I could understand Gilbert's approach to the topic. His sayings got me thinking; Music always seems to me to produce that effect. It creates for one a past of which one has been ignorant, and fills one with a sense of sorows that have been hidden from one's tears.> It is indeed a noteable gain of music to stimulate one's emotions, how could you do it otherwise? Aside from Poetry and Art, which are harshly referred to in Intentions. Further, I agree with his attitude of: To know the vintage and quality of a wine one need not drink the whole cask. It must be perfectly easy in half an hour to say whether a book is worth anything or worth nothing. Ten minutes are really sufficient, if one has the instinct for form. Who wants to wade through a dull volume? One tastes it, and that is quite enough – more than enough, I should imagine. With this conlusion, he gave me another perspective on 'not liking a book'. Now, I can admit to disliking a book after a few pages, without having regrets of saying so, like I had before. I do not have to wonder what others will think of me, or that I am weird – it simply IS. Referring to opinions, and what other people will think of me, I am a very empathic person, which does not work in my favor some times. Oscar Wilde's status: To the thinker, the real harm that emotional sympathy does is that it limits knowledge, and so prevents us from solving any single social problems. has me thinking whether I am wrong to act like I do, does being empathic causes me to loose knowledge? I liked the reference of Beauty having equal meanings as man has moods. The image and the reference where not natural, but achieved the message. Why can people not see that beauty is not everything? Why do they have to ponder or wish to be pretty, when beauty is just a symbol? An expressionless side effect of life? Beauty has as many meanings as man has moods. Beauty is the symbol of symbols. Beauty reveals everything, because it expresses nothing. When it shows us itself, it shows us the whole fiery-coloured world. I fully agree with the topic of man, giving man a mask, truly does wonders to his capability to telling the truth. I have experienced enough to be a judge of that, though experience never stops, but are you not of the same view as him? (Pardon dear men) Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. To sum it up, Intentions was a memorable book for me, making me rethink all of my decisions and turning my world around. Albeit it would have been better if he left out the second and last part, where he talked about Shakespeare's fondness to include costumes into his plays.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alok Pepakayala

    Not an interesting page turner and given the length of arguments which bore you to the core you might consider putting it down for something else.But the ideas in this book are quite deep and will make you realize things you should know about art and criticism.Is it worth the time?yes, it is constructive if you enjoy reading.

  7. 5 out of 5

    d.a.v.i.d

    This books contains several stories. "The Decay of Lying" is brilliant. The other stories, I felt, were written for a different kind of audience at a different time. Very strong writing but I did not connect with it. This books contains several stories. "The Decay of Lying" is brilliant. The other stories, I felt, were written for a different kind of audience at a different time. Very strong writing but I did not connect with it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Derek Davis

    Wilde at his best is a delight; at his worst, he tends to kick himself in the ass. Both sides are present in this collection of four long essays mostly about criticism. Two of them are set up as dialogues, and they're a mess. One side of the dialogue is the arch critic, turning all truisms on their head. The other is the straw man who is knocked silly every time he utters even a mild conventionalism. They make Wilde seem a naughty prig and nothing more--except that occasionally he relaxes for a Wilde at his best is a delight; at his worst, he tends to kick himself in the ass. Both sides are present in this collection of four long essays mostly about criticism. Two of them are set up as dialogues, and they're a mess. One side of the dialogue is the arch critic, turning all truisms on their head. The other is the straw man who is knocked silly every time he utters even a mild conventionalism. They make Wilde seem a naughty prig and nothing more--except that occasionally he relaxes for a bit and really starts talking to the reader. The final essay, though, "The Truth of Masks," is a gem. Here he delves into the use and necessity of proper costuming in plays--especially Shakespeare. He takes a subject that could bore the finish off a bureau and turns it into a true piece of enlightenment. He goes far beyond the giggle and bon mot into a straightforward, erudite but never pedantic study of a subject that most of us would never consciously think about. Coming down squarely on the side of "archaeological"--historically accurate--costuming that yet embodies the heart of a play, he presents a very interesting counter-balance to the modern trend for minimal staging. Being Wilde, he almost blows the whole thing with a ridiculous final paragraph, but it's easy to ignore.

  9. 4 out of 5

    The Bibliophile Doctor

    It takes hell lot of time to read this one...and even more time to understand it...not that its boring but I'm overwhelmed by the vast experience and literature knowledge of Oscar Wilde. And mentioning characters like Artemis, Narcissus, Aphrodite, ergo from Greek mythology and all those great writers and their work from 20th as well as 19th century... It is pretty complicated with all its paradoxes reversals and criticism.. Yes criticism is also an art coz for that you first have to get involve It takes hell lot of time to read this one...and even more time to understand it...not that its boring but I'm overwhelmed by the vast experience and literature knowledge of Oscar Wilde. And mentioning characters like Artemis, Narcissus, Aphrodite, ergo from Greek mythology and all those great writers and their work from 20th as well as 19th century... It is pretty complicated with all its paradoxes reversals and criticism.. Yes criticism is also an art coz for that you first have to get involved in arts...I love him for all his witty humorous and flamboyant writing... This one is too much to read undoubtedly !!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Doti

    Already a fan of his work as portrayed on film and stage, having enjoyed his humor and ability to mock his characters and their practices. Mr. Wilde's knowledge and ability with language are wonders to encounter. Had to pay attention when reading this, but feel I am better for having read it. I will, undoubtedly, read more of his work. Already a fan of his work as portrayed on film and stage, having enjoyed his humor and ability to mock his characters and their practices. Mr. Wilde's knowledge and ability with language are wonders to encounter. Had to pay attention when reading this, but feel I am better for having read it. I will, undoubtedly, read more of his work.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael de Percy

    This collection of dialogues and essays demonstrates Oscar Wilde's aesthetic, but also his vast knowledge of the classics, Shakespeare, and other great things in nineteenth-century Anglo art, literature, architecture, and theatre. Three pages into The Decay of Lying and one has been exposed to Aristotle, William Morris, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He uses a from of the "iceberg" principle (later perfected by Hemingway) that demonstrates his knowledge without appearing to be name dropping. It is one This collection of dialogues and essays demonstrates Oscar Wilde's aesthetic, but also his vast knowledge of the classics, Shakespeare, and other great things in nineteenth-century Anglo art, literature, architecture, and theatre. Three pages into The Decay of Lying and one has been exposed to Aristotle, William Morris, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He uses a from of the "iceberg" principle (later perfected by Hemingway) that demonstrates his knowledge without appearing to be name dropping. It is one thing to mention Aristotle, Morris, and Emerson as part of Vivian's critique of nature; quite another to append one's own aesthetic to the name dropping that leaves no doubt as to the author's learning. For instance, William Morris once said:Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.Wilde, in discussing nature versus art, mentions Aristotle (p. 3):Nature has good intentions, of course, but as Aristotle once said, she cannot carry them out.Vivian is discussing his preference for the indoors, and says (p. 4):Why, even Morris' poorest workman could make you a more comfortable seat then the whole of Nature can... If Nature had been comfortable, mankind would never have invented architecture, and I prefer houses to open air.This first part of the introduction is then neatly wrapped up with reference to Vivian (p. 5) writing the word "Whim" over the door of his library, echoing Emerson doing similar in his famous essay Self-Reliance. What does this all mean? It sets out several themes that thread through these five dialogues and essays. First is the interaction of art and nature in the human spirit. Second is contradiction. Vivian doesn't want to go outside, until he does. Vivian thinks writing is a waste of effort. But he is writing an article. In the final paragraph of the collection, Wilde writes:Not that I agree with everything I have said in this essay. There is much with which I entirely disagree. The essay simply represents an artistic standpoint, and in aesthetic criticism, attitude is everything. For in art there is no such thing as a universal truth. A Truth in art is that whose contradictory is also true.Third is the rhythm of life and the pursuit of human excellence. Wilde's characters in the dialogues go from contradictory point to contradictory point. In the essays we learn how ill-discipline and ignoring our intuition can lead to trouble (for instance, the poisoner leaves his ground-floor curtain open and is instantly recognised from the street); how Shakespeare used architecture and costume to make a point (as opposed to the theatrical archaeologists who point out Shakespeare's character's anachronistic raiment); how one moment we are focused, the next bored, even depressed, but we can be humorous, witty, intelligent, and dull. The dialogues read like a moment of intense thought that begins out of boredom and ends in boredom with thought. An indoor conversation is the scene of energy, but after talking "long enough", the outdoors beckons:Egotism itself, which is so necessary to a proper sense of human dignity, is entirely the result of indoor life.It is unsurprising that Oscar Wilde is so well read and witty. After all, he was a graduate of Oxford at a time when only the elite or those with elite patronage could dream of studying there. Yet there is an intense use of Plato's form of dialogue, an interesting blend of self-reliance and pompousness, intensity appearing indoors (even within Shakespeare's Globe Theatre), and the outdoors being a place of leisure (for the well-to-do, at least!). Yet the point of contradiction is not to be dishonest, but, through art, to bring to Nature the human experience:The final revelation is that Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of Art.I recall in high school, when studying English literature, the teacher would ask: "What does the author mean by this or that?" to which I would say, "How should I know? And how do you know if you didn't ask them?" Logical to an egotistical teenager, to be sure, but hardly intelligent. And now? It would take several re-readings of these dialogues and essays and some intense study into Wilde's life at the point in time of writing these works to discover more. Yet, armed with the knowledge of reading given to me by Harold Bloom, Mortimer Adler, Italo Calvino, and Theodore Roosevelt (to name but a few), I think I can safely tell my teenage self that, contradictory to what I thought then, one can interpret and learn from the writings of others, even if the lessons learnt were never intended. And if Art cannot deliver such lessons, what other medium can?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Prashant Drolia

    Oscar W is one of my favorite writers. His capacity to write beautiful plays, novellas, and essays is unrivaled in modern literature. His prose is as sweet as poetry, and his use of language makes even the trivial, seem interesting and important. Intentions are a very good example of the skills of the author as an essayist. His knowledge and criticisms of art aesthetics are understandable and interesting even to those of us like me, who do not have a big reservoir of knowledge of the arts. The au Oscar W is one of my favorite writers. His capacity to write beautiful plays, novellas, and essays is unrivaled in modern literature. His prose is as sweet as poetry, and his use of language makes even the trivial, seem interesting and important. Intentions are a very good example of the skills of the author as an essayist. His knowledge and criticisms of art aesthetics are understandable and interesting even to those of us like me, who do not have a big reservoir of knowledge of the arts. The author deals with various forms of art and the role of a critic in the world of fashion and the critic as an artist himself. In the first essay, he regales us with his highly witty and original arguments of lying as an art and how it has degraded since the onset of rationalism and realism. In the last essay, he explains to us the importance of masks such as costumes and make-up in the staging of a play, or any other sort of artistic representation. The essays are highly enjoyable, and the author showcases his brilliant argumentative skills, his language and presentation skills, his knowledge of all contemporary themes, and books which he uses as references and examples in the essays. I have cut one star, not because of any fault in the book, but due to my own shortcomings. The references in the book, of which there are several, are not properly known to me, as I had never read these works. Still, with basic knowledge of plays and essays in general, I got a pretty good understanding of what the author was trying to convey, though I would have enjoyed it more, had I known all the references the author has made in his essays.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    As said by Wilde himself right at the beginning of this book “thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease”. In his paradoxical, puzzling way, he then starts to reflect on matters such as Beauty, Nature, and Art – quite the unexpected follow-up, as he himself has just apparently criticized the act/state of thinking. If this little detail does not sum up a bit of what he was as a writer and as a person, nothing else will. It is in h As said by Wilde himself right at the beginning of this book “thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease”. In his paradoxical, puzzling way, he then starts to reflect on matters such as Beauty, Nature, and Art – quite the unexpected follow-up, as he himself has just apparently criticized the act/state of thinking. If this little detail does not sum up a bit of what he was as a writer and as a person, nothing else will. It is in his own name – bewildering – and his texts, beautiful works of art themselves, are eternal proof of that. Intentions consists of a collection of essays on topics around art, literature, criticism, and society. Once again, each sentence is a dignification of the Art which he endorsed above else – “Art has no other aim but her own perfection”. They show this writer at the best of his capabilities: educated, easy-going, and especially witty. But, above all, they show how perceptive he was, as a lot of his thoughts can still be applied to our present century.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emma Debruyne

    I must admit, maybe this was just to difgicult for me to understand. I should reread this when I'm older. I must admit, maybe this was just to difgicult for me to understand. I should reread this when I'm older.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Brilliant.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lorri

    Oscar Wilde discusses Art, Beauty, and Truth in four essays that are just as witty, intelligent, outrageous, and snarky as his fiction. Sometimes he takes things a little too far, thus earning 4 instead of 5 stars from me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Not Wilde’s best work To me it was tedious and redundant, I’ve found Wilde more interesting, dynamic and acute in other works. G j

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scot

    This is an 1891 collection of four essays reflecting on the process and purpose of criticism. In the main (and by far lengthiest) contribution, “The Critic as Artist,” we get a multi-act dialogue between two aesthetes, one a know-it-all pronouncing sweeping judgments on all works of art, belief systems, and relationships between Nature, Society, and Art (guess whose voice he embodies…) and the other a diffident supplicant who asks a lot of general questions, expresses astonishment at some outrag This is an 1891 collection of four essays reflecting on the process and purpose of criticism. In the main (and by far lengthiest) contribution, “The Critic as Artist,” we get a multi-act dialogue between two aesthetes, one a know-it-all pronouncing sweeping judgments on all works of art, belief systems, and relationships between Nature, Society, and Art (guess whose voice he embodies…) and the other a diffident supplicant who asks a lot of general questions, expresses astonishment at some outrageous or condescending assertions, but is routinely won over by the flowery language, sharp sensibility, and domineering self-assurance of his companion (one can confidently assume this questioner is supposed to represent the reader). I found the discourse long and cumbersome, but some of the passages were true prose poetry—Wilde uses such lovely language and clearly has broad knowledge of arts and cultures, past and (for time of publication) present. Wilde’s main intention here is to demonstrate why criticism is in and of itself such a seminal creative process, the truest art form in his opinion. In “The Decay of Lying,” Wilde attacks the literary realists of his day with some touching homage to Romanticism not just as a movement but as an experience. In ‘Pen, Pencil, and Poison,” the piece that I find conveys his wry humor most adroitly, he reflects on the meaningful aesthetic insights and the cold-blooded poisonings that were the work of Thomas Griffiths Wainewright. The joy lies in the juxtaposition. By far my favorite and the most memorable of the essays is the final one, “The Truth of Masks,” in which he masterfully reviews Shakespeare’s attention to and purpose for costuming, and reflects on why heedfulness of historical detail can be such an enriching component in any stage production. It was a fine review of Shakespeare’s oevre as well as a cogent contemplation on the role of theatrical costuming in any production, and I would assign it as required reading to anyone interested in or beginning to work on Wardrobe for any theatrical company.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard S

    This is first class literary criticism and a clearer, more rational explanation of the aesthetic movement than Pater. Wilde is more than Earnest and epigrams, and foppish attire: he’s a serious person (although there’s “cleverness” too) and these essays are extraordinary. The Critic as Artist is particularly thought-provoking.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dane Cobain

    Oscar Wilde was notorious for flamboyancy and wit, but only one of them comes across in Intentions - I'm sure you can guess which one. Intentions consists of a couple of Wilde's essays, and a couple more that masquerade as plays. Now, when you think of an essay, it's only natural to think of a dry chunk of text that was written for an academic thesis on the most boring subject imaginable. Not so with Wilde - despite being over a hundred years old, his essays are genuinely intriguing and offer a u Oscar Wilde was notorious for flamboyancy and wit, but only one of them comes across in Intentions - I'm sure you can guess which one. Intentions consists of a couple of Wilde's essays, and a couple more that masquerade as plays. Now, when you think of an essay, it's only natural to think of a dry chunk of text that was written for an academic thesis on the most boring subject imaginable. Not so with Wilde - despite being over a hundred years old, his essays are genuinely intriguing and offer a unique insight in to both the way that his mind worked and the way that Victorian society looked upon the arts. Possibly most interesting are the thoughts expressed in 'The Critic As Artist' - despite being structured like a play, it's little more than a soliloquy, and the character of Gilbert is essentially Wilde himself. In it, the Gilbert/Wilde hybrid speaks about how the art of criticism requires much more skill than the initial art of creation, and that critical faculties enable artistic creation in the first place, while criticism is free and independent of constraints. Got that? It's difficult to explain the nuances of Wilde's essay in a summarisation, so if you want to learn more about his aesthetic philosophy, I suggest that you grab a copy of the book and read all about it. It's the longest of all the essays in Intentions, presented as a dialogue in two parts. Get ready to bed yourself in.

  21. 5 out of 5

    VISHAKH RATHI

    A treasure trove of quotable quotes. Sample: "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." "Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time, that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." ...and several more on art, criticism and even journalism (on Journalism the views he holds are just as true today, as they must have been 125 years ago, when he wrote these Essays. The nature of the beast never really changes, does it?) But more than A treasure trove of quotable quotes. Sample: "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." "Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time, that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." ...and several more on art, criticism and even journalism (on Journalism the views he holds are just as true today, as they must have been 125 years ago, when he wrote these Essays. The nature of the beast never really changes, does it?) But more than just the quotes, Wilde reveals himself as a truly original thinker. You may not agree with what he says (much of it, in fact), but nonetheless it is a marvellous read. I'm not too familiar with Roman & Greek texts, so skipped over several specific references. For those who are aware, I'm sure it will be an even more meaningful read

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    Excellent! If you are looking for a well-formed, consistent aesthetic philosophy, it's not here--Wilde's style is full of playful contradiction and reversal, but all in the service of the theme of beauty/art as the highest achievement of mankind, and its best goal. What it means to be artistic, the relation of history to art, the role of the reader, and the art object as practical, moral, or useful is all in flux in these essays, but each essay has a witty grace and meaning in and of itself. If Excellent! If you are looking for a well-formed, consistent aesthetic philosophy, it's not here--Wilde's style is full of playful contradiction and reversal, but all in the service of the theme of beauty/art as the highest achievement of mankind, and its best goal. What it means to be artistic, the relation of history to art, the role of the reader, and the art object as practical, moral, or useful is all in flux in these essays, but each essay has a witty grace and meaning in and of itself. If there is any consistency it may be in his haphazard inconsistency in the service of beauty, demonstrating his intention in "The Critic As Artist," that "Criticism is itself an art....It works with materials, and puts them into a form that is at once new and delightful."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Oscar Wilde is here at his brilliant best. He almost leapt off the page with his eloquence and dedication to his subjects. I may not agree with him but listening to him make his case persuades me to think about it, just a little longer and perhaps I will too see the light. It was funny, irreverent, cerebral and pretentious. How I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at a dinner party where Oscar Wilde was a guest...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Merkley

    Oscar Wilde is really humorous and intriguing to read. The problem is the book and its style wanes and becomes old. And it's hard to read on the Iphone. It is very funny and mind-boggling the first several chapters. He is playing the Devil's Advocate mostly in this book, which is hard to wrap your mind around. Chelsea Merkley Oscar Wilde is really humorous and intriguing to read. The problem is the book and its style wanes and becomes old. And it's hard to read on the Iphone. It is very funny and mind-boggling the first several chapters. He is playing the Devil's Advocate mostly in this book, which is hard to wrap your mind around. Chelsea Merkley

  25. 5 out of 5

    Haythem Bastawy

    Wilde is clearly influenced by the Classics, the Renaissance figures and above all Shakespeare. They are his demi-gods and any thing modern is bad, even if it is a modern production of Shakespeare or 'Sophokles'. Intentions itself borrows its dialogue form from Plato. Intentions is very readable, in spite of its excesses, and is definitely worth it. Wilde is clearly influenced by the Classics, the Renaissance figures and above all Shakespeare. They are his demi-gods and any thing modern is bad, even if it is a modern production of Shakespeare or 'Sophokles'. Intentions itself borrows its dialogue form from Plato. Intentions is very readable, in spite of its excesses, and is definitely worth it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    I really struggled with this book. I couldn't get into it and because of that I think I probably missed the point of what this book was about. I actually felt quite stupid as I was trying to read it because I didn't understand it. I really struggled with this book. I couldn't get into it and because of that I think I probably missed the point of what this book was about. I actually felt quite stupid as I was trying to read it because I didn't understand it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Skylar Burris

    I think I'm going to stick to Wilde's plays and poetry. I mean, seriously, I'm not in school anymore. Why do I still feel like I have to force myself to read this stuff, when I could be re-reading The Importance of Being Earnest or the Ballad of Reading Gaol instead? I think I'm going to stick to Wilde's plays and poetry. I mean, seriously, I'm not in school anymore. Why do I still feel like I have to force myself to read this stuff, when I could be re-reading The Importance of Being Earnest or the Ballad of Reading Gaol instead?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Valcarcel

    Wouldn't have expected less from one as magnificent as Wilde. These four amazing works of art are not only worth reading, but also life-changing (in their majority). I really enjoyed these compilation and would recommend it to any fan of criticism and classic literature. Wouldn't have expected less from one as magnificent as Wilde. These four amazing works of art are not only worth reading, but also life-changing (in their majority). I really enjoyed these compilation and would recommend it to any fan of criticism and classic literature.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Uneven, but often charming Fickle, stylish, witty and often smug. This is Wilde at his most quotable, alternating with longish summaries of Dante and Shakespeare used to illustrate aesthetic ideas with which Wilde himself doesn't even really agree. Uneven, but often charming Fickle, stylish, witty and often smug. This is Wilde at his most quotable, alternating with longish summaries of Dante and Shakespeare used to illustrate aesthetic ideas with which Wilde himself doesn't even really agree.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tina Dyer

    The mask--the self-construct--is the important bit of us. All else is but clay...

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...