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About the book
  • Published: 15 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141192659
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336

The Decay Of Lying

And Other Essays




In 'The Decay of Lying' Oscar Wilde uses his decadent ideology in an attempt to reverse and therefore reject his audiences' 'normal' conceptualizations of nature, art and morality. Wilde's views of life and art are illustrated through the use of Platonic dialogue where the character Vivian takes on the persona of Wilde. Wilde's goal is to subvert the norm by reversing its values. Wilde suggests to us that society is wrong, not him. Calling on diverse examples - from Ancient Greek sculpture to contemporary paintings - Oscar Wilde's brilliant essay creates a witty, paradoxical world in which the only Art worth loving is that built on complete untruths.

  • Pub date: 15 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141192659
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336

About the Author

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. He then lived in London and married Constance Lloyd in 1884. Wilde was a leader of the Aesthetic Movement. He became famous because of the immense success of his plays such as Lady Windemere's Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest. His only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was first published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890 but was revised in 1891 after moralistic negative reviews.

After a public scandal involving Wilde's relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, he was sentenced to two years' hard labour in Reading Gaol for 'gross indecency'. His poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol was published anonymously in 1898. Wilde never lived in England again and died at the age of forty-six in Paris on 30 November 1900. He is buried in Père Lachaise cemetery where admirers often leave the lipstick marks of kisses on his tomb.

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