more from Oscar Wilde

Single Idea 7274

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 7. Art and Morality]

Full Idea

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

Gist of Idea

Books are only well or badly written, not moral or immoral


Oscar Wilde (Preface to 'Dorian Gray' [1891])

Book Reference

Wilde,Oscar: 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' [Penguin 1949], p.5

A Reaction

This is simply false. Novels that are viciously (or subtly) racist, sexist, homophobic, or egotistical can obviously be immoral. I could write a nasty story about Oscar Wilde. It might, though, be very well written. If life is moral, so are novels.