A Short Biography
Wilde was born and grew up in Dublin.
During his studies he became a part of the Aesthetic movement (Walter Pater was the theorist of aestheticism in England).
He was spokesman (portavoce) for the school of ‘art for art’s sake’ (l’arte per l’amore dell’arte).
He settled in London and became a popular and eccentric dandy who charmed everybody with his wit (intelligente) and brilliant conversation.
He published poems, essay, witty comedies (commedie brillanti) and his famous novel ‘The picture of Dorian Grey’.
His popularity declined sharply (rapidamente) when he was arrested and sentenced to two-year hard labour because accused of having a homosexual relationship.
After his release from prison Wilde emigrated to France, where he lived in poverty and obscurity under an assumed name.
Wilde adopted “the aesthetic ideal”. He lived in the double role of rebel and dandy. The Wildean dandy is an aristocratic artist whose elegance is a symbol of the superiority of his spirit. He wanted to shock and demanded absolute freedom.
He rejected the didacticism that had characterized the Victorian novel in the first half of the century.
He believed that only the art, as the cult of the beauty, could prevent the murder of the soul (spirito) and also he thought the artist is an alien in a materialist world.