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Wilde's Prelude - first sentence

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Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:38 am
Snoink says...



The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.


This is the first line of Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

How much do you agree or disagree with this statement?
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Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:43 am
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SubjectBlue says...



I loved that book!
anyway, I'm somewhere in the middle, because I do think art should "reveal art and conceal the artist"- but I don't think that's art'd goal.
also, I have a hard time agreeing with a definition that includes the thing defined as part of it-
"To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim." is a bit paradoxical.
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:51 pm
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inkwell says...



This reminds me that I need to reread this amazing book sometime, because I don't know how to answer.
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:55 pm
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Emerson says...



I agree not only because I love Wilde but because I believe he is right. While the author's writing may reveal great truth and honesties aout the author, the work... Should not be about the author. The author should hide among the lines, behind the words - not obviously on the surface of the story.

Then again he could be very wrong. Even while not being egotistical in one's writing...you're still going to reveal something about yourself!!
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:23 am
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Snoink says...



What you said, Suzanne, reminds me of a G.K. Chesterton quote: "A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author."
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:29 am
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Lumi says...



I do agree, though I believe that most contemporary artists (in all realms of art) will be split into some form of dichotomy--those wishing to create art, and those seeking vague immortality.

I believe that those falling into the latter category will disagree with Wilde as an artist can't quite live on in name alone, and if they're concealed, well...they won't be very much alive in their immortality.

However, I think that art is created as a unique way to impact mankind. In that respect, it would be better to say that humanity was impacted by an idea represented by a work of art and not an artist.

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Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:31 am
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Benway says...



Wilde was an aesthete, a sort of strict materialist the likes of which believe in the importance of the material and the created over the creator. From a lit. theory perspective, the concealment of the source of creative product seriously diminishes the experience of understanding the art. Art is not made in a vacuum, Mr. Wilde--it comes bloody and live from a birth of labor. To conceal the artist is to conceal something about the art. I understand where Wilde is coming from philosophically, but I do not agree. I believe that art accomplishes the opposite, whatever its aims--art reveals the artist.
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:32 am
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Emerson says...



Geat quote snoink! And lumi, you mean contemporary artists.


I'm also left thinking about how big of a deal the author is now in publication. You have to have a presence. I did a lot of study into publication last summer and it was unbelievable how much was about the author and not the book. They want to be able to google you and find something good....they want a name they can sell. That turns Wilde on his head.

But what sells is not always art and art is not always for sale!
Last edited by Emerson on Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:34 am
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Lumi says...



Suzanne wrote:Geat quote snoink! And lumi, you mean contemporary artists.


Noted and edited. ;)
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Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:20 pm
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writerwithacause says...



I agree with Oscar Wilde (and I loved the book, too!).

Art must detach from its artist, in order to become art. Art becomes art when you see a painting and acknowledge it as a great piece of art, not when you hear the name of the artist and say that you've heard (s)he is a great painter/writer/etc...

In my opinion, the concept of 'artist' implies rather a more commercial side of the subject. When you actually ignore the creator of a piece of art, you can analyze that piece of art justly, because you are not influenced by things such as the artist's popularity or personal life etc. In other words, how many of us (not really us, but the people out there) would say that 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series is so great and fascinating, if they didn't know the author, and if they never heard of it, of the movie adaptation? I'm not saying that I don't like the book, because I do, but I think it is a bit overrated, and many of the people I know say it's 'cool' just because it's overly advertised.

Also, on another note, we can take the case of homosexual writers (Wilde himself), or singers (like Elton John and George Michael) and all the great artists out there who don't get enough credit because people judge them because of their sexual orientation. Does this sound fair? Does their own personal life interfere in any way with the art they create?

No. Absolutely not.
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