What was the nature of literary criticism during naughty nineties


Pater and Oscar Wilde are the originators of the slogan, “Art for Art’s Sake”, which was the literary creed of the English Aesthetes. Pater is the chief exponent of the school of aesthetic criticism which extols beauty at the cost of everything else. He may be regarded as the father of the modern school of impressionistic criticism.

He was “naughty” in his revolt against the accepted critical canons of the day, as expounded by Arnold. Pater influenced Wilde a great deal. Wilde’s Intonations were published in 1891. Logouts observes about him: “He spiced the doctrine of art for art’s sake, with a certain cynicism; wit, paradox and mocking humor give a keen edge to his beautifully wrought prose.”

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