Title

The Concept of Irony and Oscar Wilde

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

This project explores Soren Kierkegaard's Concept of Irony in relation to the works of Oscar Wilde at the end of the 19th century. In his work, Kierkegaard characterizes the ironist through the example of Socrates. The ironist maintains negative freedom, allowing him to be unbound by his words and actions. From this disposition, the ironist deconstructs the actuality of the time with infinite absolute negativity. This project will explore how Oscar Wilde's "The Critic as Artist" and "Decay of Lying" reinterpret the ironist as an Aesthete. Both of these works exemplify a specific aspect of the ironist’s disposition through their praise of subjectivity and disdain for objectivity. Using Wilde’s aestheticized conception of the ironist; the project will turn to Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I will focus primarily on Dorian’s relationship to his portrait, with which he is both the object of work and its primary critic. Within this relationship, I will explore the extent to which Dorian Gray embodies Oscar Wilde’s reinterpretation of Kierkegaard’s ironist.

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Apr 12th, 9:40 AM Apr 12th, 10:00 AM

The Concept of Irony and Oscar Wilde

UC 333

This project explores Soren Kierkegaard's Concept of Irony in relation to the works of Oscar Wilde at the end of the 19th century. In his work, Kierkegaard characterizes the ironist through the example of Socrates. The ironist maintains negative freedom, allowing him to be unbound by his words and actions. From this disposition, the ironist deconstructs the actuality of the time with infinite absolute negativity. This project will explore how Oscar Wilde's "The Critic as Artist" and "Decay of Lying" reinterpret the ironist as an Aesthete. Both of these works exemplify a specific aspect of the ironist’s disposition through their praise of subjectivity and disdain for objectivity. Using Wilde’s aestheticized conception of the ironist; the project will turn to Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I will focus primarily on Dorian’s relationship to his portrait, with which he is both the object of work and its primary critic. Within this relationship, I will explore the extent to which Dorian Gray embodies Oscar Wilde’s reinterpretation of Kierkegaard’s ironist.