The Critic as Artist
First published in a late nineteenth century in a collection, this reprint of one of Oscar Wilde’s most famous essays, The Critic as Artist is a slim volume filled with the clever man’s personal philosophy about the kind of art created by those who would be critics.
The foreword, written by Michael Bracewell, contextualizes Wilde’s essay within Wilde’s life, adding notes on when it was written, why it matters, and what it is attempting to do in terms of its uses of paradox and its penchant for the “comic and aphoristic.”
Wilde’s philosophy is laid out in two parts, both in dialogue form, between two characters, Gilbert and Ernest. Gilbert is the stand-in for Wilde himself, the learned and more verbose of the two characters who defend art and the need to criticize it while Ernest is the questioner who sets up the scenarios upon which Gilbert must espouse.
The language is dense and not readily accessible for all readers, but fans of Wilde will revel in his humor as he takes on the subject that dominated his life: art.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Publisher||David Zwirner Books|
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