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Henley implies here that Wilde flaunts his sexuality through the very physique of The Sphinx , despite retaining “enough for Mrs. Grundy and the suburbs.” Mrs. Grundy, a character in Thomas Morton's play Speed the Plough (1798), was by the mid-nineteenth century widely considered a personification of prudery and conventionalpropriety. But Henley’s judgments here are colored not merely by barely concealed homophobia: for by figuring Wilde’s “case” as that of the“bookie” or “fancy goods” trader, Henley also exposes Wilde’s artistic pretensions to the harsh light of “business,” reducing a work over which Wildeand Ricketts had labored for years to a carefully calculated, even crude, work of commerce. This was precisely the kind of reaction that Wilde had feared fromthe British press, and to a writer eager to be taken as a poet, not merely an author (to invoke the distinction made by Wilde in signing his contract), itmust have been especially disturbing. But in truth Henley’s review exposes fault lines at the heart not merely of Wilde’s work but of aesthetic art and writinggenerally; for as the critic Jonathan Freedman has observed, aesthetes such asWilde and Henry James participated in a market economy, particularly in “the commodification of art and literature wrought by such an economy,” even as theycritiqued or refused it through what Freedman terms their “professionalization of literary and artistic practice” (Freedman, xii). By some lights, The Sphinx seemed nothing more than a carefully- packaged commodity, designed to yield the maximum profit for its author andpublishers, even as it obscured its own commodity status behind the language of art, decoration, and poetry. Henley’s point was underscored a few months later by a short notice of the large-paper issue whichappeared, under the byline “Mr. Wilde’s `Expensive Book,’” in the American periodical Munsey’s Magazine : “While almost everybody is crying for cheap books, Mr. Oscar Wilde is sending out alament that it is impossible to buy an expensive book any more. So he has written one. It is called ‘The Sphinx,’ and it is a poem. Twenty five copiesonly have been printed, and they are sold, or are to be sold, for thirty dollars apiece. The book is illustrated by Mr. Charles Ricketts, and is, as a matter ofcourse, an ideal book from the printer's point of view.” After giving “a sample of Mr. Wilde's idea of an ‘expensive’ poem,” Munsey’s commented only “if anybody wants to give Mr. Wilde thirty dollars, this is an opportunity to do so. He is taking up acollection for current expenses” (“Oscar Wilde’s ‘Expensive Book,’” Munsey’s Magazine , Feb. 1895 [12:5], 551). Munsey’s was one of very few notices of The Sphinx to appear in America in Wilde’s lifetime.

Henley’s review typifies the generally hostile reception with which The Sphinx was met in the popular press in Britain. But a contrasting reaction can be detected in thepages of British art magazines, as Wilde had predicted. The most important voice in this respect is that of Gleeson White, one-time editor of The Studio , and later (before his early death in 1898), an important spokesman for illustration as an art form in its own right.Initially White contented himself merely with reproducing Ricketts’s cover design for The Sphinx in the course of a wide-ranging, illustrated, scholarly essay in which White held up Ricketts’scover designs generally as epitomizing the principles governing “The Artistic Decoration of Cloth Book-Covers.” This was not the first occasion on which White praised Ricketts’s work in print. See White“Decorative Illustration,” 182. But in 1896 White published an important essay-length study of Ricketts’s work in which he paved the way fortwentieth-century appreciations of Ricketts as one of the most important designers of the fin de siècle . Here White treated Ricketts’s visual designs for The Sphinx not as secondary or peripheral but as integral elements of the total book, not any the less expressive of “imagination” and “artistry” forRicketts’s self-conscious concern to adhere to decorative or “conventional” principles:

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, The sphinx. OpenStax CNX. Apr 11, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11196/1.2
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