The word aesthetics derives from the Greek word aisthetikos, which means something relating to perception by the senses. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy, which deals with the perception of beauty and taste. A person who perceives or observes beauty meticulously in various things is said to have got an aesthetic sense. It also deals with the question as to whether beauty exists in things or it only depends upon the aesthetic perception of the observer. In literature, aesthetics is employed to describe writer’s theory or approach to artistic expression i.e., his response to colour, sound, form and words which make up the whole pattern of his writing. On the other hand, aestheticism is a literary term loosely used for an English literary movement of the second half of the 19th century. The origin of the word dates back to the reverence of beauty instilled by John Keats and the Pre-Raphaelites. Oscar Wilde was the prophet of aestheticism. He advocated that aesthetic considerations were absolutely independent of morality. The phrase “Art for Art’s sake” was the credo of the aesthetes. They believed that art should not have didactic purpose, rather, it should be beautiful.
Now watch the video about the only published novel by this 19th century Irish writer and poet…the aesthete Wilde