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As the Pall Mall Budget ’s reviewer had understood, this materializing or “archaeologizing” spirit extends to Wilde’s language as much as to the bookitself. For Wilde’s language is itself a highly material entity, a “sort of processional, of beautiful words strangely shaped and coloured,” whoseunderlying “meaning” remains constantly just out of reach, and may be less important than its power of suggestion or affect: “How many of us…know thenature of ‘rods of oreichalch’?” The strangeness of Wilde’s diction, the obscurity of his allusions, and the neat closure of Wilde’s rhymes remain endsin themselves, their self-consciousness entirely “necessary to give that sense of mysterious luxury at which Mr. Wilde is aiming.” For “poetical purposes,” asthe Budget ’s reviewer perceptively wrote, it were better that the “meaning” of the “strangely named beings and things thatload every rift” remain obscure lest “the meaning…clash with the beautiful sound” (“The City of Books,” 164).

For this reason, a decision has been made to offer no Glossary of terms, myths, and allusions in the present edition, and readershave been left to construe for themselves the nature of a hippogriff , a basilisk , and an ivory-horned tragelaphos . The poem’s speaker, after all, presents us with an object lesson in the price to be paidfor imagining that works of art can be (mis)construed by reference to the world of objective fact. As Wilde had written previously, “aesthetic value… does notin the slightest degree, depend on…facts, but on the Truth, and Truth is independent of facts always, inventing or selecting them at pleasure” (“TheTruth of Masks,” 423). Like the literature of the northern hemisphere of Borges’s “Tlön,” The Sphinx abounds not in real things but in “ideal objects, which are convoked and dissolved in a moment,according to poetic needs… [The] word forms a poetic object created by the author” (Borges, 435-36, my translation). For a similar reason, no attempt has been made to supply annotations clarifying or“realizing” the historical identities (if any) of such mythic gods as Ammon, Pasht, Adon, and Memnon; and to point up any “mistakes,” “inaccuracies,” or“anachronisms” (Murray, 74) in Wilde’s allusions is to miss the fundamentally imaginative and poetic nature of those allusions. If, as Wilde maintained, “theonly real people are the people who never existed” (“The Decay of Lying,” 297), Ammon, Pasht, Adon, and Memnon are entirely fictive and artistic creations, whopossess no life outside the work itself. And Wilde would surely say the same of such terms as oreichalch , hippogriffs , catafalque , and nenuphar . In other contexts, these terms might denote things that exist in this world. But in The Sphinx , “there is an abundance of incredible systems of pleasing design or sensational type” (Borges, 436, my translation), and these words’sounds and other-worldliness are everything. As Wilde had written, what the materials of art “suggest, what imitative parallel may be found to them in that chaos that is termed Nature, is a matter of no importance…. A thing in Naturebecomes much lovelier if it reminds us of a thing in Art, but a thing in Art gains no real beauty through reminding us of a thing in Nature. The primaryaesthetic impression of a work of art borrows nothing from recognition or resemblance. ( Complete Letters , 502). Like the metaphysicians of Tlön, Wilde does “not seek for the truth or even forverisimilitude, but rather for a kind of amazement” (Borges, 436, my translation). As much as it represents a central work of the Decadent Movementas a whole, The Sphinx is arguably the central work of Wilde’s creative mind and the ultimate embodiment of Wilde’sideas about the power of artifice and the nature of art. It expresses nothing, but it suggests everything. The Sphinx is the consummate example of Wilde’s notion that “the artist is the creator ofbeautiful things” (Preface to Dorian Gray , 235).

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
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.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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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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