Class Notes (808,386)
Canada (493,174)
York University (33,530)
English (906)
EN 1001 (71)

The Decay of Lying by Oscar Wilde & Book X by Plato - Notes.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

York University
EN 1001
Thomas Loebel

The Decay of Lying By: Oscar Wilde Summary • Romanticism vs. Realism • Nature and life imitate art (not the reverse) • Vivian thinks Nature is uncomfortable/imperfect • Art exists to correct nature • “Art never expresses anything but itself” • Doesn’t imitate anything • Vivian “the decay of lying as an art, a science, a social pleasure.” • Imagination should be the principle in making art • Doesn’t think that writers should have to describe social reality to make their characters become real • Proving “life and nature imitates art” • When a character is created (or style/state of mind), people in real life imitate it • “Nature is no great mother who has borne us. She is our creation. It is in our brain that she quickens to life. Things are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the Arts that have influenced us.” • Wilde wants artists to stop imitating real life and to appropriate life and nature with the aim of creating a new reality through of lying. "The only real people are the people who never existed, and if a novelist is base enough to go to life for his personages he should at least pretend that they are creations, and not boast of them as copies. The justification of a character in a novel is not that other personas are what they are, but that the author is what he is." • Imagination • Goes back to when author shouldn't make characters based on real life • Over exaggeration (overly sarcastic) • Imagination isn't always 100% real • Maybe the best art isn't limited by reality • He's interpreting from other people's personality and putting them into his writing • Spoke of Nature not being Art • Sometimes fictional characters are more real to us • The justification of a character in a novel is not that other personas are what they are, but that the author is what he is. • People aren't supposed to pay attention to the person, they should pay attention to the author (a piece of the author) • Says Realism (attention to detail) is boring and you can't learn anything from it • Against repetition • Doesn't like when artists paint things exactly Book X • Socrates has defined justice and shown it to be worthwhile • Banishes the poets • He thinks poets are dangerous • They pretend to know all sorts of things (but don’t know anything at all) • Widely considered they have knowledge in all that they write about but they don’t • The things they deal with cannot be known • Poets imitate the part of a person that is easily excitable/colourful • Poetry corrupts even the best souls • Deceives us into sympathizing with those who grieve excessively/lust inappropriately/laugh at simple things • We think there is no shame in indulging these emotions because we are indulging them with respect to a fictional character and not with respect to our own lives • But the enjoyment we feel in indulging these emotions in other lives is transferred to our own life. • Once these parts of ourselves have been nourished and strengthened in this way, they flourish in us when we are dealing with our own lives. • X can only be destroyed by what is bad for X Summary • Talks about imitative poetry • Uses bed as example • 3 levels where phenomena occur • Level of God • Creates bed as an idea • God doesn’t need to replicate something that’s already perfect • The Carpenter • Imitates God’s idea in making a particular bed • Makes beds of similar quality • Poet/Painter • Imitates the imitator • Paints beds of similar quality • Socrates thinks they imitate appearance instead of things as they are • Imitators can’t have knowledge of real things • Flute player will tell the flute maker which of his flutes is satisfactory to the performer, he will tell him how to make them and the other will attend to his instructions • The maker will gain knowledge from the player (who knows the instrument) by talking and listening to him and the flute player has the knowledge of the flute • The imitator (artist/poet) doesn’t have either • “The poet is like a p
More Less

Related notes for EN 1001

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.