wilde/james (gmd)

(posted by AG for GMD)

“When I look at a landscape I cannot help seeing all its defects. It is fortunate for us, however, that Nature is so imperfect, as otherwise we should have had no art at all. Art is our spirited protest, our gallant attempt to teach Nature her proper place” (4).

Oscar, W. (1905). The decay of lying. (p. 4). New York: Brentano’s. Retrieved from http://archive.org/details/intentionsdecayooowild

“The successful application of any art is a delightful spectacle, but the theory too is interesting; and though there is a great deal of the latter without the former I suspect there has never been a genuine success that has not had a latent core of conviction” (573).

James, H. (1999). Henry james: Major stories and essay. (1 ed., p. 573). New York: Penguin Putnam Inc.

Notes: I have never really thought of nature as “imperfect,” and I am so interested that Wilde believes that without this imperfection, art would not exist. Additionally, I also found James’ quote so interesting because I too find myself interested in why an artist would choose to create a certain piece: researching the inspiration behind it is always fascinating.

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