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Less novel and more manifesto
am 4. März 2016
I feel a bit like a philistine rating this book just three stars, but that's only because I didn't enjoy reading it. It doesn't give the book any justice though as it is of course a philosphical novel with so many clever thoughts and themes in it that the "List of cultural references" has its own wikipedia entry.
Except for the preface, the writing is over the top flowery and the conversations are really stilted (because most of the time there is not really a dialogue between two characters, but rather several statements about art, morality, youth, innocence and so on). Wilde was part of the aestheticism movement. He believed that art needs only to be beautiful and life should copy art. Hence, if there is a decorative lamp or a nice tea set in the room you'll be sure to read about it!
The well-known gothic elements of the plot are just the skeletal framework upon which Wilde built his manifesto of aestheticisim and art.
This book probably requires a lot more work than I was willing to invest, in order to make it an interesting read, but I ended up skipping parts and feeling a bit bored.