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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I hear today is Oscar Wilde's birthday...any fans/detractors among us?

I don't know much about him other than Morrissey loved his work and mentions him in "Cemetery Gates"

A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOMwu6...


message 2: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments fan!


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments King Dinösaur wrote: "Agreed. There was only one. There can be only one."

So he's like the Highlander?

Anyway, I'm a fan. Loved loved loved The Picture of Dorian Gray and I'll go see just about any production of The Importance of Being Earnest.


message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments Big fan.

I think he sometimes gets judged unfairly as ONLY being brilliant and amusing, but somewhat superficial. That's the downside of making people laugh while you're telling them the truth!

I guess that's what I thought until I came across a story he wrote for his sons called "The Happy Prince," and it about made my heart stop beating. Even sitting here thinking about it, I can't name any other story that sneaks up on me and moves me so much.

You can find it on the internet, and I tried to cut and paste the link, but I couldn't for some reason. (There's some new cutting/pasting thing in Yahoo emails that I can't figure out - anybody know what I'm talking about?)


message 5: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (bonfiggi) I have an old leather bound copy of "The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde" that belonged to my grandfather. I was very young when I read the book, and The Happy Prince and The Young King were very influential. The Selfish Giant too. I know I'd still cry if I read them now.
Fan.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I love his last words, said while dying in a cheap hotel room in Paris:

"Either that wallpaper goes, or I do."


message 7: by Kate (new)

Kate (kateharper) | 206 comments Big fan!

I agree with Rebecca when she says: I think he sometimes gets judged unfairly as ONLY being brilliant and amusing, but somewhat superficial.

If you look at the subjects he tackles, they are not superficial. In The Ballad of Reading Goal, Wilde addresses the issue of facing our mortality and thus becoming really alive long before Camus does in The Guest. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, he takes on the nature of evil and the choices we make to flee from it consequences.

I first loved his quick wit but over time became more interested in the themes he addressed and made us think about.


message 8: by Suefly (new)

Suefly | 620 comments Fan, though it's been a while since I've read him. The older I get, the more desire I have for a " self portrait" that will age for me, though. :)


message 9: by Suefly (new)

Suefly | 620 comments Fan, though it's been a while since I've read him. The older I get, the more desire I have for a " self portrait" that will age for me, though. :)


message 10: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24393 comments Mod
It's been so long since I've read Picture of Dorian Gray and Importance of Being Ernest that I don't know if my opinions of them at the time would hold up. I recently read a children's book he wrote (The Canterville Ghost) and it didn't do anything for me. The cleverness felt strained.


message 11: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) I think I'm more of a fan of the man and his quotes than his writing.


message 12: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24393 comments Mod
I very much enjoyed the movie An Ideal Husband. I don't think I saw the Colin Firth/Rupert Everett Importance of Being Earnest, which seems impossible.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Oscar Wilde's wit is very arch, and should be partaken of in small doses. I have an anthology, and have read most of it, and found that he repeats his witticisms.

Similar to Terry Pratchett, in a way. His plays need breathing space for best appreciation.


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