O.Wilde, Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. (...)
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. (...)

No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. (...)
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.
When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself...

O. Wilde (1854-1900),
Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

Sunday, January 23, 2011

M. Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Mary Wollstonecraft
1759 - 1797
eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher
and advocate of women's rights 
(by John Opie, c. 1797)    


A Vindication
of the Rights of Woman

'It would be an endless task to trace the variety of meannesses,
cares, and sorrows, into which women are plunged by the prevailing opinion,
that they were created rather to feel than reason, and that all the power they obtain,
must be obtained
by their charms and weakness'
                                                                                    Mary Wollstonecraft


CHAPTER  I         The rights and involved duties of mankind considered
CHAPTER  II        The prevailing opinion of a sexual character discussed
CHAPTER  III       The same subject continued
CHAPTER  IV       Observations on the state of degradation to which woman
                                   is reduced by various causes
CHAPTER  V        Animadversions on some of the writers who have rendered
                                   women objects of pity, bordering on contempt
CHAPTER  VI       The effect which an early association of ideas has upon the
CHAPTER  VII      Modesty.—Comprehensively considered, and not as a sexual
CHAPTER  VIII     Morality undermined by sexual notions of the importance of a
                                   good reputation
CHAPTER  IX       Of the pernicious effects which arise from the unnatural
                                   distinctions established in society
CHAPTER  X        Parental affection
CHAPTER  XI       Duty to parents
CHAPTER  XII      On national education
CHAPTER  XIII     Some instances of the folly which the ignorance of women
                                    generates; with concluding reflections on the moral
                                    improvement that a revolution in female
                                    manners may naturally be expected to produce

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