Intentions

Author: Oscar Wilde

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Intentions, first published in 1891, brings together a collection of Wilde’s essays on topics such as literature, art and society, revealing his characteristic witty and extravagant narrative.

In the first essay, “The Decay of Lying”, the author criticizes the so-called modern literary realists, who in the British writer’s perception did nothing but stifle the imagination, since for him art was: invention, imagination and dream.

In “Pen, Pencil and Poison”, he makes an appreciation of the life of painter and art critic Thomas Griffiths Wainewright. On the other hand, “The Critic as Artist” exposes the critic as a virtuous interpreter, becoming as much an artist as the artist himself. Finally, “The Truth of Masks” focuses on Shakespeare’s use of masks, disguises and costumes.

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Ravenna

Oscar Wilde

Ravenna is a poem written in March 1877 and published a year later. Wilde used this composition to enter the English poetry competition Newdigate, winning the prize. In addition, it was recited at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on June 26, 1878.

In the spring of 1877 Wilde spent a vacation in Mediterranean Europe, a trip that enriched his worldview and provided him with themes for other writings. He visited places such as Greece and Italy, and during his stay in the latter country he visited the city of Ravenna, which inspired the poem.

This poem narrates a person’s encounter with the city, expressing his impressions of what he learns about it in the course of the trip. Ravenna was one of the main works of the writer who won the recognition of the people.

Poems

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was a controversial figure for his time, he was involved in controversies and even spent some time in jail due to his sentimental and sexual preferences. But he is not only remembered as a social icon, he is also recognized for his wit and narrative, aspects that made him stand out in literary society.

He achieved recognition for his outstanding facet as a playwright although he was also a great poet, receiving prestigious awards thanks to compositions such as Ravenna. In his poems he emphasized beauty, a theme that always captivated him.

This collection of more than 200 pages invites us to know and enjoy the prose of this writer. It includes short poems such as A Fragment, A Lament or A Villanelle and other long poems such as Ave Imperatrix or Charmides.

The Canterville Ghost

Oscar Wilde

The house where The Canterville Ghost inhabits was the old Canterville Chase, which has all the trappings of a traditional haunted house. Descriptions of the wood paneling, the black oak-paneled library, and the hallway armor characterize the setting.

Wilde mixes the macabre with comedy, juxtaposing the traditional devices of English ghost stories, such as creaking floorboards, sound chains, and ancient prophecies.

The story begins when American minister Mr. Otis and his family move into Canterville Chase, despite Lord Canterville’s warnings that the house is haunted.

The Selfish Giant

Oscar Wilde

The Selfish Giant is a short story about a giant who went on vacation for seven years. He has a garden and a castle. While he was away, the children in his neighborhood visited his flowers and trees and played in his garden.

However, the giant returned. While the children were talking, they heard a booming sound that made them jump up and leave the garden immediately. When the giant saw the children, he chased them away from his garden, built a high wall and posted a notice saying, «trespassers will be pursued». Because of the giant’s selfish act, spring disappeared and the elements of winter came in, snowflakes, hail, wind and frost.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales

Oscar Wilde

In a city where there are many suffering poor people, a swallow who stayed behind after his flock flew to Egypt for the winter, encounters the statue of the late “Happy Prince”, who has never experienced true sadness, as he lived in a palace where he was not allowed to enter sadness.

Seeing various scenes of people suffering in poverty from his high monument, the The Happy Prince asks the swallow to remove the ruby from his hilt, the sapphires from his eyes and the gold leaf covering his body to give to the poor.