Information about the author:
Olga M. Valova
Olga М. Valova, DSc in Philology, Associate Professor, Vyatka State University, Moskovskaya 36, 610000 Kirov, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7987-5317
The article gives reasons for considering youth as a category of Wilde’s philosophy of the unreal. In Wilde’s art world the motif of youth appears in the early works, the writer gives preference to youth rather than maturity and old age, central characters of his plays are in the vast majority young people. The greatness of his tragedies in many respects is caused by the death of young characters. Youth is interesting to Wilde by its strong internal energy, and its commitment to adventure, to play, its erotic appeal, the prospect of self-realization, creative energy, a close relationship with art. The properties of youth are most fully reflected in the images of dandy heroes, genetically related to the ancient culture. Dandy characters as works of art rise above reality, they are philosophers and contemplatives, but Wilde also shows them as arbiters of fashion, which in its essence is always a sign of modernity. The article also examines the images of young characters who are not the “dandy” type. They are distinguished by a tendency to romanticize, straightforwardness, a sacrificial beginning (in tragedies); life mistakes, the ability to play (in comedies). Singling out the category of youth is possible due to its connection with the writer’s ideas about the immortality of art, the unity of beauty of the mind and body, the ability to fully describe Wilde’s philosophy of the unreal.