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Classic novel. The Preface begins: "e;The artist is the creator of beautiful things.To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.That is all."e; According to Wikipedia: "e;Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 - 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and author of short stories. Known for his barbed wit, he was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. As the result of a famous trial, he suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years of hard labour after being convicted of the offence of 'gross indecency.'"e;