Caleb Madrigal

Programming, Hacking, Math, and Art


Dorian Gray Prelude

This year (2014) has been, for me, a year of art exploration. And to end it, I'd just like to share what I believe to be the greatest prelude ever written: the Prelude to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:

"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 ...


I recently finished reading Phantastes by George MacDonald for the 2nd time. The first time I read it, I really liked it. This second time, it became one of my all-time favorites. I've never experience any other work of art which feels so much like being in a dream.

To give you an idea of what it's about, here is the end of the Prelude:

"In a genuine fairy-story, everything must be miraculous, mysterious, and interrelated; everything must be alive, each in its own way. The whole of Nature must be wondrously blended with the whole world of the Spirit. In fairy-story the time of anarchy, lawlessness, freedom, the natural state of Nature makes itself felt in the world... The wolrd of the fairy-story is that ...