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In The Soul of Man under Socialism Oscar Wilde expounds on an anarchist world view. Wilde argues that under capitalism the majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism-are forced, indeed, so to spoil them: instead of realizing their true talents, they waste their time solving the social problems caused by capitalism, without taking their common cause away. Thus, caring people seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see in poverty, but their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it because, the proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible.
Works of Wilde's annus mirabilis of 1891 in one volume, with an introduction by renowned British playwright. The Soul of Man Under Socialism draw on works from a single miraculous year in which Oscar Wilde published the larger part of his greatest works in prose -- the year he came into maturity as an artist. Before the end of 1891, he had written the first of his phenomenally successful plays and met the young man who would win his heart, beginning the love affair that would lead to imprisonment and public infamy. In a witty introduction, playwright, novelist and Wilde scholar Neil Bartlett explains what made this point in the writer's life central to his genius and why Wilde remains a provocative and radical figure to this day. Included here are the entirety of Wilde's foray into political philosophy, The Soul of Man Under Socialism; the complete essay collection Intentions; selections from The Portrait of Dorian Gray as well as its paradoxical and scandalous preface; and some of Wilde's greatest fictions for children. Each selection is accompanied by stimulating and enlightening annotations. A delight for fans of Oscar Wilde, In Praise of Disobedience will revitalize an often misunderstood legacy.
Selection includes The Portrait of Mr W.H., Wilde's defence of Dorian Gray, reviews, and the writings from 'Intentions' (1891): 'The Decay of Lying, 'Pen, Pencil, Poison', and 'The Critic as Artist'. Wilde is familiar to us as the ironic critic behind the social comedies, as the creator of the beautiful and doomed Dorian Gray, as the flamboyant aesthete and the demonised homosexual. This volume presents us with a different Wilde. Wilde emerges here as a deep and serious reader of literature and philosophy, and an eloquent and original thinker about society and art.
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