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Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
In this elegant and affectionate biography of one of the most controversial personalities of the nineteenth century, Barbara Belford breaks new ground in the evocation of Oscar Wilde's personal life and in our understanding of the choices he made for his art. Published for the centenary of Wilde's death, here is a fresh, full-scale examination of the author of The Importan ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 3rd 2000 by Random House (first published January 1st 2000)
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Oct 12, 2012 Juliana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
i holed up in my room reading this and everything oscar wilde had ever written...and then rereading.
Sep 27, 2011 Rozonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To me it is THE BIOGRAPHY. Serious, well documented and very deep and readable at the same time, I have yet to read a better biography of Wilde.
A well-written biography that manages to capture the 'genius' of Wilde. As an author Wilde has always intrigued me. His stories for children are wonderfully rich in both morals and strangeness. Belford takes us through the different and often unique moments of his life that made him the writer that he was.

The most interesting parts would have to be his extraordinary romantic life. Belford paints the portrait of a very brave man with a rare gift for exquisite witticisms. She manages to capture t
Aug 08, 2009 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!! Highly recommended.
May 11, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
she borrowed a lot from richard ellman, so if you dont have time to read him, this is a good one. so basically, richard ellman cliff notes. but pretty well written anyway. but there was just one small annoyance with me. she took quotes from letters, etc. and used them out of context, to fit her own ideas and theories. and....she quotes constance wilde saying she wanted OW to take her back to hear the mockingbirds sing. WHAT??? totally screwed the quote and the context. mockingbirds?? she's talki ...more
Jun 05, 2013 Rosecasanova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot about Oscar Wilde through this reading. I feel like this book gave me some perspective about the man, his choices and his writings. I thoroughly enjoyed Belford's analysis and her passion that seemed to permeate from the pages. I have a new and very different respect for Oscar Wilde. If he were alive today, he would be the king of social media, oh wait, he is the king of social media!
Franzie Lovegood
Oct 21, 2013 Franzie Lovegood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Das war das erste Mal, dass mich eine Biografie wirklich fesseln konnte.

Oscar Wilde hat ein sehr bewegtes Leben geführt und Barbara Belford hat dieses sehr schön in Szene gesetzt und sich auch ausreichend mit den Personen beschäftigt, die ihn beeinflusst und/oder mit ihm verkehrt haben. Mir hat es gefallen. Es war aufschlussreich, und vor allen Dingen gut und flüssig zu lesen.
Aug 22, 2009 J-bats rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great biography though much of that is not due to the writing of Barbara Belford. The book is pretty long and at points definitly felt long and also contained alot of unoriginal material about Wilde's life. Familiar ground was simply retracked by Belford, the book gets three stars simply because the ground retracked has such an astonishing, iconic personality.
Todd Stockslager
Certainly Wilde, but I'm not so sure about the genius part. Can you make a career of aphorisms such as the one I just coined, and a flamboyantly public homosexual lifestyle? Wilde did, with a thin body of respected writing (The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest) veneered over the celebrity of the personality.

In fact, Wilde's enduring work may be his creation of the celebrity culture, where one can become famous and known merely for their existence.

Reviewing Belford's biogra
Jun 12, 2012 Evan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written and exceedingly interesting. What a biography should be. What a fascinating ego.
Kimberly Farr
Jun 01, 2013 Kimberly Farr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Paul Cool
May 04, 2013 Paul Cool rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oscar Wilde was a complex and captivating fellow. Highly educated, even more intelligent, he wrote poetry, essays, dramatic and comedic plays, prose fiction, fairy tales, and it seems a good hunk of Bartlett's Quotations. He possessed "a certain genius" for observing and capturing with extraordinary literary talent the foibles of society. A giving, charitable man known for raking others over the coals in good humored fashion. Unfortunately for himself and for our desire for a lengthier, less inc ...more
Terri Durling
He was ahead of his time and paid a heavy price for it living in a time that did not accept homosexuality. He was flamboyant and unconventional but so interesting that people sought his company. The book does a good job of telling the story of his life from beginning to end and all that happens in between. I skimmed over a good part of it but only because I have so many other books on the go. I wish I had had more time to read it slowly to get a better picture of what made him tick.
Mechi Margalot
Mar 28, 2016 Mechi Margalot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gran biografia de OW
Suzy Ruskin
Okay I only really skimmed this title, but Oscar Wilde's life is fascinating stuff.
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