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  學年 99
  標題 Liberal Aesthetics in Oscar Wilde’s Works/ 奧斯卡王爾德作品中的自由美學
  學生姓名 唐麟 (Tang, Lin)
  指導教授 郭章瑞 (Chang-Jui Kuo)
  摘要 Being a controversial figure in the late Victorian period, Oscar Wilde claims that art should not be about morality and utility, nor should it conform to any authority. Wilde’s art for art’s sake is thus self-defined as that all arts are useless and beauty means only beauty. However, if art is really useless and meaningless, how do we locate Wilde’s literary significance in his art for art’s sake? While many modern scholars who study Wilde’s aesthetics contend that Wilde is an asocial and apolitical artist, this thesis attempts to locate his social and political significance by retrieving the liberal spirit in the aesthetic movement of the Victorian period. In other words, this thesis will go back to the Victorian liberal culture itself and joins in the academic studies, as presented by Linda Dowling and David Thomas, to re-contextualize and re-examine Wilde’s aesthetics in a liberal sense.
While, in this aesthetic movement, John Ruskin proposes that art should be about divine moral order and educational in terms of ethics and Walter Pater contends that art is about individual perception of beauty and a cultivation of sensational experience, this thesis detects that Wilde realizes the intrinsic predicaments in the movement and therefore takes a different path to carry out genuine liberal spirit. His aesthetic claims of amorality, autility, and anti-authority thus become Wildean liberal aesthetics to resist the moral/normal claim of aesthetic social function. In this new-historicist framework, I will read Wilde’s aesthetics as a cultural sign and explore its meanings along with his literary representations.

Chapter two, “Useless Art as Liberating Art,” will focus on the issue of amorality and autility as constructed against the backdrop of Victorian evangelicalism and capitalism. Three of Wilde’s literary representations will be utilized to exemplify his critical stance against this cultural silhouette. Chapter three, “A Queer Body in Aesthetics,” will tackle the issue of anti-authority, set in Victorian fledgling socialism and presented in Wilde’s critical writings and literary works. I will argue that Wilde’s resistant aesthetics consists in his queer rewriting of the bourgeois body and his challenge against the normal in contrast to the social control and public opinion in the Victorian England. Three of Wilde’s literary works will also be scrutinized in detail to elucidate Wilde’s queering attempt. The concluding chapter will integrate the previous main points and render a more complete Wilde on the basis of his aesthetics, sexuality, and social involvement. I will conclude that Wildean liberal aesthetics could be a potential politics of resistance which exerts its anti-essentialist perspective to confound a coerced Victorian logocentrism, and in this scenario, Wilde is not only a martyr of social sub/counter-culture but also a promoter of artistic and intellectual freedom.
  書目
  連結 http://thesis.lib.ncu.edu.tw/ETD-db/ETD-search-c/view_etd?URN=971202007#anchor
 

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