Tag Archives: perfection

Wilde: The Decay of Lying

“The loss that results to literature in general from this false ideal of our time can hardly be overestimated. People have a careless way of talking about a ‘born liar,’ just as they talk about a ‘born poet.’ But in both cases they are wrong. Lying and poetry are arts—arts, as Plato saw, not unconnected with each other—and they require the most careful study, the most disinterested devotion. Indeed, they have their technique, just as the more material arts of painting and sculpture have, their subtle secrets of form and colour, their craft-mysteries, their deliberate artistic methods. As one knows the poet by his fine music, so one can recognize the liar by his rich rhythmic utterance, and in neither case will the casual inspiration of the moment suffice. Here, as elsewhere, practice must precede perfection.”

Wilde Oscar. The Decay of Lying. 1889. http://literature.proquest.com.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/searchFulltext.do?id=Z000731336&divLevel=0&area=prose&DurUrl=Yes&forward=textsFT&queryType=findWork.

In Vivan’s  article, she is trying to say that it takes skill to be “good” liar and nobody is a natural born to these skills. She describes lying and poetry as art and people start out from the beginning. With time and devotion to these arts along with learning the material/secrets that come along with it, they will become the best liars or poets out there.