(Wilde) (16.10.1854, Dublin, 30.11.1900, Paris), an English writer and critic. Irish by nationality. He graduated from Oxford University (1879). The collection of “Poems” (1881) was a success. Under the influence of J. Ruskin’s lectures on art, he was carried away by the ideas of the so-called aesthetic movement, preached the need for the revival of beauty in everyday life as a means of overcoming the practicality of bourgeois society. In 1882 he made a tour of the US cities, giving lectures on aesthetics; In the United States, he published the revolutionary melodrama “Faith, or Nihilists” (1882, Russian translation 1925, Berlin), which expressed the rebellious mood of the young writer, and the poetic tragedy “The Duchess of Padua” (1883, Russian translation by V. Bryusova, 1911). Returning to London, he worked in newspapers and magazines. He was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of immorality (1895-97), after his release from prison he settled in Paris. Soulfulness was reflected in the poem “The Ballad of Reading Prison” (1898, Russian translation by V. Bryusov, 1915) and in the posthumously published confession of “De Profundis” (1905).
In the situation of the social and ideological crisis of the English bourgeois society of the late 19th century, U. adhered to the anti-bourgeois trend in literature and theater, to some extent having experienced the influence of the ideas of socialism (“The
Fairy tales (“Happy Prince”, “Star Boy”) and “Poems in Prose” are lyrical, sublime in style and content. “Canterville Ghost”, “The Crime of Lord Arthur Seville” – action-packed novels, permeated with irony. A sample of the intellectual novel of the late 19th century. – “Portrait of Dorian Gray” (1891). Having adorned with all the brilliance of their style the preaching of amoralism, embedded in the mouth of Lord Henry, U. recognizes at the same time that the cult of beauty and the thirst for pleasure should not lead to the rejection of true morality. However, his contemporaries perceived the novel as a preaching of aesthetic amoralism.
The tragedies “The Duchess of Padua”, “Salome” (1893, originally in French), “Florentine tragedy” (1895, published in 1908, is not finished) – attempts to revive the poetic drama of great passions. The secular comedies full of witty paradoxes and epigrams on the morals of the ruling classes have a different character: “Lady Windermere’s Fan” (1892), “Woman Not Paying Attention” (1893), “How important it is to be serious” (staged 1895, published in 1899) . Socially critical motives are strong in the comedy “The Ideal Husband” (1895), where the unclean methods of bourgeois careerists are exposed.
In the critical articles of the 80’s. (collection “Zamysly,” 1891) U. highlighted the most close to him the phenomena of modern English literature (W. Morris, W. Pater, C. A. Swinburn, etc.). At the same time, he highly valued the folk songs, the poetry of P. Beranger, and respectfully wrote about the artistic skills of O. Balzac, L. N. Tolstoy, I. S. Turgenev and F. M. Dostoevsky