A not always persuasive presentation of Wilde as a critic and creative figure whose works and ideas occupy a central position in the thought and art of his age, and in the shift from romanticism to modernism. Although unfavorably critical of much of Wilde's writing, his poetry which never attained the popularity of his prose, his lyrical dramas, his novels, his comedies -- concessions to popular tastes and motivated by the desire to make money, Roditi gives Wilde primary placement for his critical views, his ""ingenious, imaginative and vigorous dialectical thought"". He analyzes also the politics, ethics, aesthetics of the dandy, the importance of his influence which ranks with Poe and Baudelaire on the writing of the 20th century. For literary argument rather than agreement. The Makers of Modern Literature Series.