Tag Archives: wilde

“a novel is a novel, as a pudding is a pudding”

The Art of Fiction by Henry James

“…and there is a presumption that those times when no one has anything particular to say about it, and has no reason to give for practice or preference, though they may be times of genius, are not times of development, are times possibly even, a little, of dulness.”

(Henry James, The Art of Fiction, Longman’s Magazine 4, September 1884, 1)

presumption, assumption, hindrance of genius, timing, what is “good,” judgement, scrutiny, development, growth

 

The Decay of Lying by Oscar Wilde

“Paradox though it may seem – and paradoxes are always dangerous things – it is none the less true that Life imitates art far more than Art imitates life.”

(Wilde, Oscar, The Decay of Lying, The Complete Writings of Oscar Wilde, The Nottingham Society, 1909, 7)

paradox, danger, seeming, appearance, always, never, sometimes, truth, imitation, inverse

Is life art?

A novel is in its broadest definition a personal, a direct impression of life : that, to begin with, constitutes its value, which is greater or less according to the intensity of the impression. But there will be no intensity at all, and therefore no value, unless there is freedom to feel and say (James 384).

James, Henry. “The Art of Fiction.” In Partial Portraits. New York: Macmillan, 1894. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/partialportraits00jameiala.

notes: definition, emotion, connection

Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die
of any other disease. Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching. Our splendid physique as a people is entirely due to our national stupidity. I only hope we shall be able to keep this great historic bulwark of our happiness for many years to come; but I am afraid that we are beginning to be over-educated ; at least every- body who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching —that is really what our enthusiasm for education has come to (Wilde 5).

Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of Lying.” In Intentions. New York: Brentano’s, 1905. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/intentionsdecayo00wild.

notes: insight, critique, “incapable of learning has taken to teaching”