“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.“
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars“
Such ironic quips is what Oscar Wilde is famous for, bringing flare and flamboyance to an otherwise subdued and strict society. He was arguably the first celebrity writer, famous for being famous rather than for his actual writing.
But despite his obvious eccentricity and originality, Oscar Wilde firmly embedded himself into the bedrock of the western literary canon, having sparked both controversy and criticism for the then perceived liberal content and themes of his work.
Many people know of Oscar Wilde because of his “scandals”, much as celebrities are today. However, his works contain a wordy and descriptive richness that many have imitated but few can master.
A recent biography even credits him with having invented the concept of celebrity and with being its first embodiment; the Kim Kardashian of the Nineteenth Century, albeit with rare and prodigious talents.
Consider these two quotes in which the sharpness and brilliance of his mind are evident:
“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
When reading his better known The Picture of Dorian Gray, the reader is confronted with a dazzling glut of phrases such as the ones above, which are bespattered across every page. It is as brilliant as it is intimidating, and it is a book that can be read over and over again, with the same staggering effect.
But Oscar Wilde also wrote numerous short stories, many of which serve as fantastic introductions to his work for a younger audience.
With his intelligent humor and sharp wit, Irish novelist, poet and playwright Oscar Wilde shocked Victorian England with his scandalous behavior. He also broadened the horizons of 19th-century English literature and opened the door for the development of modernism.
Oscar Wilde, who was born back in the day, is an ideal for us today. He behaved the way a just human should behave. He defied the unjust laws and customs the way a sound mind would do.
If he stands for anything, it is freedom in a world that is based on fears and insecurities.
And the only way to be free in an unfree world is to rebel! Therefore, be wild and a rebel of the ultimate kind!
Here’s a go through of Wilde life and struggles since life is but a pendulum that swings from suffering to boredom and most people mostly suffer than get bored, or even start to suffer from getting bored. Haha!
Oscar Wilde’s Early Days
Oscar Wilde was born on Oct. 16, 1854, in Dublin, Ireland, to unconventional, literary parents. His father, Sir William Wilde, was a very successful surgeon who, in his spare time, wrote and published essays about literature, archaeology and medicine. His mother, Lady Jane Francesca Wilde, was a women’s rights activist and poet, writing under the pen name Speranza.
After completing his elementary education in Ireland and spending three years at Trinity College in Dublin, Wilde won a scholarship to study English literature at Magdalen College in Oxford, where he remained until 1878. As a student, Wilde distinguished himself not only as a proficient classical scholar but also as a talented poet, winning the prestigious Newdigate Prize with his long poem, “Ravenna.”
From an early age, Wilde developed a flamboyant appearance and a sense of contempt for traditional moral and cultural values, because wits. And any witty person would easily see through the facades and hypocrisy of most cultures and their practices.
He also became an ambassador for Aestheticism, a late 19th-century movement that advocated “art for art’s sake”,and it serves my Dark Academia theme well too. Haha!
Although Wilde’s polished manners—together with his witty and satirical nature—made him a prominent figure in literary and social circles of the time, his flamboyancy and mockery of religion and traditional customs made him a disagreeable aka superstar or ‘the satan of the fake gods’ figure within the stupid,more conventional social groups.
Wilde’s lifestyle was famous for its cosmopolitan nature. Moving to London after completing his studies, he worked as a writer and art reviewer, publishing several controversial essays and thought-provoking reviews on theater, books and art exhibitions. He also became a regular contributor to popular publications such as Pall Mall Gazette, Dramatic View and Woman’s World. In 1881, he spent a year traveling and lecturing on literature and decorative arts in the United States and Canada, followed by a year spent living and writing in Paris.
The Rest of the Story
Even though Wilde married Constance Lloyd, an Irish barrister’s daughter, and fathered two sons, the marriage didn’t last long. His intimate friendship with Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas led him to be charged for homosexuality, which was then illegal in England. What a joke!
Douglas’ father, the Marquis of Queensbury, accused Wilde of homosexuality; as a result, Wilde was forced to stand trial. He was sentenced to two years’ hard labor and sent to Wandsworth Prison in 1895, and then transferred to Reading Gaol. During his two years in prison, Wilde composed some of his most famous works, including the mournful “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” (1898) and the autobiographical dramatic monologue “De Profundis” (1905), addressed to Douglas and published posthumously.
After being released from prison, Wilde retreated to Paris where he lived his final years in poverty and poor health. During this time, he continued to write under the pen name Sebastian Melmoth. On Nov. 30, 1900, the legend died in Paris at the age of 46.
For such remarkable people are just too good for the undeserving human world.
In July 2009, more than a century after his death, the Vatican(an obstinate facade to rule the masses) issued a statement of reconciliation with Wilde; the Church had condemned him as a degenerate at the end of the 19th century. Regardless of his scandalous behavior during the Victorian days, the Holy See recognized the value of Wilde’s work and praised him as a “lucid analyst of the modern world,”(because the obstinate cult wants to lead the more sane modern world too and thus had no option but to accept Wilde as it’s lord, in order to further rule and maintain it’s facade) the Daily Telegraph reported.
I adore Wilde. Love his books, his plays his wit and it was so sad what happened to him.
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Truly. His wit is unmatched. And he shall live forever in our hearts. 😃😉
Aman, thank you for this post. It is a fine descriptor of Wilde and his world. Your site is very informative, beautifully written, and your dedication to philosophy and literature is evident. You are sharing something of value. Michael John.
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I am so grateful to you. Your appreciation means the world to me. I hold Oscar Wilde in the highest of regards. He was exceptional with words. Everyone knows it. His literary finesse is a fact of life. I live in awe of him too. It’s really amazing to have this meaningful conversation. 😃 I’m grateful to you. You have a beautiful mind.