Oscar Wilde questions

Posted by Lewis on March 17, 2005

In Reply to: Oscar Wilde questions posted by Ruth Julius on March 17, 2005

: I was wondering about the specific meaning of two words which Oscar Wilde uses in his Preface to "The picture of Dorian Gray". One is "morbid", in the sentence: "No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything."

: The other is "all" in sentences like: "All art is at once surface and symbol" or "All art is quite useless". Do you think he means "all arts are." (every art is.) or perhaps ("art is always.")?

: Thanks a lot!

: Ruth

"morbid" - gloomy, obsessed with death - a study of painting and literature would suggest that death is a very popular topic - naturally sex and death are fundamental to human thought/motivation. Oscar may either have been ironic or he is suggesting that art must include death or otherwise it would be excluding an important part of the human psyche, but that by doing so it is not obsessive about it.

take yer pick.