A Wilde Night

“The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism,” claimed Oscar Wilde in his preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, “is a form of autobiography.”  When a critic lauds a performance or pans a painting, we learn more about the critic than the object of his scrutiny.  In it’s own way, criticism is an art.  “The critic is he who can translate into an other manner or a new material his impression of  beautiful things.”

And so I begin my career as a beer critic.  Or philosophy commentator.  Or autobiographer.  At any rate, this blog is my art.  I mean it to be neither practical nor useful.  As Wilde wrote, “all art is quite useless.”

Dorian Gray and Oettinger HefeweissbierBeer of the week:  Oettinger Hefeweissbeir – The Oettinger Brewing Company produces some very cheep beers.  Even after the outrageous taxes on imported beer, Oettinger is only slightly more expensive than most domestics.  And don’t let the price fool you, their beers are pretty good.  This unfiltered wheat beer is a rich gold color (cloudy of course) and pours with a very thick head.  It is perhaps too sweet.  Wheat beers tend to be sweet anyway, but this beer is especially so.  Overall however, very pleasing.  Especially with pizza.

Reading for the week:  Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – In just about one page of text, Wilde makes some pretty big claims about the nature of art and beauty as well as the job and goals of artists and critics.

Question for the week:  If “art is quite useless,” does that mean that it has no power to elevate (or degrade) the mind and soul?  If it does not hold such power, how came certain critics to be “corrupt” or “cultivated” (since both of these words imply a change?)