Thursday, 20 November 2014

Wilde Wisdom - Joan Lennon

I admit it - until now, I'd never read The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Oh, I knew, more or less, the plot.  But when I needed to read Oscar Wilde's horror story for a novel I'm just starting to write, there wasn't a handy copy in the house, so I got it (for free) as part of a kindle Penny Dreadful multi-pack - including The Horrors of Zindorf Castle AND Jack Harkaway and His Son's Adventures in Australia, which, co-incidentally, I also didn't own.

But did you know The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published in this magazine in 1890?  

In full.  Plus a Preface.  Plus a whole bunch of other fiction and articles and biography and - I'd love to read this bit - 8 pages With the Wits (illustrated by leading artists).  How's that for 25 cents?  

But here's what I want to post about.  What Oscar Wilde said, in his Preface, about critics and criticism, because it is both a witticism and a balm.  He said:

"... the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.  Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.  This is a fault."

Is it merely an elegant way of saying, "Aw, poop, they're just jealous"?  I don't care.  Next bad review any of us gets, I recommend this as our mantra.  All together now ...

This is a fault.  

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.

1 comment:

Linda Strachan said...

Love that quote, Joan!