Présentation de l'éditeur
The heart of the volume is the long two-part essay titled "The Critic as Artist." In one memorable passage after another, Wilde goes to great lengths to show that the critic is every bit as much an artist as the artist himself, in some cases more so. A god critic is like a virtuoso interpreter: "When Rubenstein plays...he gives us not merely Beethoven, but also himself, and so gives us Beethoven absolutely...made vivid and wonderful to us by a new and intense personality. When a great actor plays Shakespeare we have the experience."
Also included are "The Decay of Lying," in which Wilde takes to task the modern literary realists like Henry James and Emile Zola for their "monstrous worship of facts" and stifling of the imagination; "Pen, Pencil, and Poison," a fascinating study of art critic and murderer Thomas Griffiths Wainewright; and "the Truth of Masks," on the use of masks, disguises, and costume in Shakespeare.
For newcomers to Wilde and those who already know his famous plays and fiction, this superb collection of this criticism will offer many delights.