When Oscar Wilde acknowledged he had "seen wallpaper which needs to lead a boy mentioned less than its impact to a lifetime of crime," his comic story performed on an idea that has frequently been taken fairly seriously--both in Wilde's day and in our personal. In Fateful Beauty, Douglas Mao recovers the misplaced highbrow, social, and literary background of the assumption that the beauty--or ugliness--of the surroundings within which one is raised impacts or maybe determines one's destiny. Weaving jointly readings in literature, psychology, biology, philosophy, schooling, child-rearing recommendation, and inside layout, he indicates how this concept abetted a dramatic upward thrust in consciousness to surroundings in lots of discourses and in lots of practices affecting the lives of the younger among the past due 19th century and the center of the 20th. via unique and targeted analyses of Wilde, Walter Pater, James Joyce, Theodore Dreiser, Rebecca West, and W. H. Auden, Mao indicates that English-language writing of the interval was once educated in the most important yet formerly unrecognized methods by way of the chance that stunning environments could produce greater humans. He additionally finds how those writers shared issues approximately setting, evolution, determinism, freedom, and wonder with scientists and social theorists akin to Herbert Spencer, Hermann von Helmholtz, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, and W.H.R. Rivers. In so doing, Mao demanding situations traditional perspectives of the jobs of good looks and the classy in paintings and lifestyles in this time.
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