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The Soul of Man

The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde
By: (1854-1900)

In "The Soul of Man," Oscar Wilde explores the nature of individuality and personal freedom in a thought-provoking and eloquent manner. Through a series of essays, Wilde delves into various topics such as art, society, and morality, using his signature wit and charm to dissect and criticize the limitations imposed on individuals by society.

Wilde argues that true freedom comes from embracing one's authentic self and rejecting the constraints and expectations of society. He makes a compelling case for the importance of individualism and self-expression, urging readers to pursue their passions and desires without fear of judgment or condemnation.

Throughout the book, Wilde's prose is both insightful and poetic, demonstrating his keen understanding of human nature and the complexities of the human soul. His thoughts on art and culture are particularly captivating, as he explores the transformative power of creativity and the importance of art in shaping society.

Overall, "The Soul of Man" is a powerful and timeless work that challenges readers to question societal norms and embrace their true selves. Wilde's words are as relevant today as they were when the book was first published, making it a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of art, culture, and individual freedom.

Book Description:
“(T)he past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.”

Published originally as “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” this is not so much a work of sober political analysis; rather it can be summed up as a rhapsodic manifesto on behalf of the Individual. Socialism having deployed technology to liberate the whole of humanity from soul-destroying labour, the State obligingly withers away to allow the free development of a joyful, anarchic hedonism...

“Is this Utopian? A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.”

Far from abandoning the epigram in favour of the slogan, Wilde wittily assails several of his favourite targets: the misguided purveyors of philanthropy; life-denying ascetics of various kinds; the army of the half-educated who constitute themselves the enemies of Art - and those venal popular journalists who cater to them...

“Behind the barricade there may be much that is noble and heroic. But what is there behind the leading-article but prejudice, stupidity, cant, and twaddle?” (Introduction by Martin Geeson)

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 2 reviews)

Reviewer: - November 8, 2013
Interesting account of life. Written before Wilde's term of imprisonment after which most of these views changed.
Reviewer: - September 15, 2013
Subject: audiobook
Great audiobook about human nature...

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