Oscar Wilde from another perspective

Ah, Oscar Wilde. Who can doubt his eloquence and his brilliant wit? Yet if one takes the trouble to look beneath the superficial, what a different spectacle one is treated to. If one reads descriptions of him by his contemporaries in combination with his own ‘De Profundis’, this is a man whose philosophy turned around and bit a large chunk out his backside. Yet he kept fast to that philosophy to the end, provided he was not the recipient of its consequences himself, and despite this he still has a group of followers which have become almost a cult.

Based on his actions, on historical facts and on his own ‘De Profundis’ there can be no doubt that Lord Henry Wotton in ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is a reflection of Wilde himself and that Wotton’s expressed theories reflect those of the author. And if one compiles all the available evidence, what one ends up with is the fact that behind the brilliance and the wit lay a simply despicable, base creature and I use the word ‘base’ deliberately.

Like others, I was originally blinded by the man’s almost boundless literary talents and I was in owe of his dazzling witty sayings. Until I read a transcript of his trial and saw how he ended up contradicting one brilliant saying with another equally brilliantly witty one, meaning exactly the opposite of what he had previously supported.

So I looked further into this and I ended up with a picture of a greedy, shallow, selfish, gross, flabby man, willing to corrupt everything around himself for the purpose of satisfying his own depravity. And for those who are ready to jump on the bandwagon of human rights and the right to sexual preference, let me hasten to add that I do not refer to his homosexuality.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

According to Wilde, loyalty and fidelity are shallow and contemptible attributes. He considers them to be ‘a lethargy of custom or a lack of imagination’, a ‘confession of failure’ . To him it is inconceivable that one can find a kindred soul who absolutely reciprocates one’s feelings and emotions, thereby creating a spiritual as well as a physical connection which excludes everyone else as a candidate for sex.

BUT

When eventually his theories were put to the test and he found himself on the receiving end of those very same theories from his own Dorian Gray, one Alfred Douglas, he whined like a dog that had been kicked by its master. This is not only evidenced by his own ‘De Profundis’, but by statements written by contemporaries and supporters of his with whom he had associated closely.

In my opinion, Oscar Wilde was the representative of those who use an expensive education to disguise their inability to benefit from it. One of those people who used education and wit in order to elevate the base natures they have been born with. They absolutely enjoy wallowing in unqualified animal instincts but they use their educations to disguise the fact by being witty. They demean charity in others, for example, so their own complete lack of it will not show them up for what they really are. They hide their selfishness under the ruse of supposed loyalty to themselves. What they actually mean is that they should have absolute license to do as they please, irrespective of consequences to others, including their children.

They are the ones who subscribe to the theory that the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. And they might be right, provided their actions did not hurt others around them. But they conveniently forget that proviso and they go through life slaughtering everything and everyone in their path, taking no prisoners. They bring the human back to the animal level before evolution gradually raised him to that ‘something more’.

Regrettably they very often succeed in fooling most of the people most of the time and are even thought of as great philosophers. Those of the people who are not fooled part of the time can only look on with the contemptuous irony that the antics deserve.

Another quote from the great man: ‘How shallow were the arbitrary definitions of ordinary psychologists!’

According to Wilde, ‘Ordinary’ psychologists have ‘arbitrary’ definitions, but he, being an extra-ordinary psychologist, had the entire well thought out definitions ready to be served on the ignorant in order to educate them. – The difference being that this extra-ordinary psychologist could not conceive that it is possible for others to have completely different standards from his own perverted ones. A vain, selfish shallow, half man.

How is it possible for so much skill with words be wasted on such base intent? He was a talented genius wallowing in filth with base animal cunning as the paradoxical ally of his considerable and indisputable intellect. He was made of the stuff that the serial killers of this world are made of. He had no human empathy, unless it was for himself.

He described himself perfectly when he said that he lived in ‘An age grossly carnal in its pleasures and grossly common in its aims’ – What an apt self description! – A brilliant, flabby, dirty little man. A monster.

Dimitris Mita

De Greek

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Comments 39 comments

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

While everyone can acknowledge that Oscar Wilde had some faults, isnt there a little bit of "kicking a dead man when he is down" about your article?

You say that he whined like a dog that had been kicked when things went wrong for him.

He was convicted of offences that are not even considered to be misdemeanours in modern civilised societies, and was brutally punished for them also.

I think it was understandable that he whined a little bit.

The only thing that he actually did wrong, was to be unfaithful to his wife, and he was cruelly punished for that, by being denied all contact with his children for the rest of his life.

Would you consider that to be a just punishment for an errant husband?

When Oscar Wilde was being transferred to Reading Gaol, he was spat at by the people on the station platform.

Was that just?

To equate him with serial killers is not fair either.

He was foolish. That is all, and only within the context of the age he lived in.

Anyone who could write "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", or "The Happy Prince" should not be accused of a lack of empathy.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Christopher, his whining was about how the boyfriend spent his money and then left him. I compared this to his sxpressed previous positon that - " loyalty and fidelity are shallow and contemptible attributes. He considers them to be ‘a lethargy of custom or a lack of imagination’, a ‘confession of failure’ "

THAT IS THE PARADOX I REFERED TO, QUITE CLEARLY.

I am not accusing him for being a homosexual. There are CORRUPT heterosexuals in this world and I make no dinstinctions between them and homosexuals.

I am accusing him of being a DIRTY person and a curruptor of young people in France, even after he got out of prison.

As for his children, he never appeared to ask for support of his children, but he knew how to beg for himself very well, money he spent on young men, on drink and on gorging himself. Not once did he ask the peopel who gave him money to give the money to his children. In fact he kept begging his wife for donations to support himself! THIS I call dirty!

"The Ballad of Reading Gaol" is a wonderful poem and I am not questioning his talent, but in reality and PRACTICALLY, the only empathy he had was for himself.

I am sorry if I upset you in any way, but a healthy difference of opinion is a healthy thng I hope :-)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

It is a healthy thing indeed and I am not learned enough to comment on this hub. Besides enjoying his undoubted literary talents, I have not studied his life or life style. Perhaps I should. I hope all is well with you because this attack is mot your usual benevolent style.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Raye, I have recently read a biography of Wilde by a contemporary of his who supported him financially and who also tried to say that because of his talent he should have been treated differently. And I have just re-read 'Dorian Gray'. I saw it with new eyes and I felt disgust at the gall of the man. He used his talent for corruption, not for good.

I know that others have a different opinion, hence the title :-)


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

You dont upset me Dmitri. None of us is perfect.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

Why does this sound familiar - have you posted it before?


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

De Greek, I admit I didn't know the human side of Oscar Wilde. I always tend to think that when something beautiful is expressed by someone in the form of writing or art, that it's a part of their soul expressing, so yeah, I thought he was a 'normal guy'. Guess he had a dark side that did not affect the part of him that was brighter: his talent.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

FP, I re-read Dorian Gray last week and I was writing notes as I went along. I have never written about this before, so it is possible that you came across someone who shares my opinion and has written something similar. If you do come across something written in the same vain, please let me know. I feel very lonely (!) on this and it would be nice to come across someone who shares my view. :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Marie, we are mostly showered with his witty sayings. The darker side remains hidden. When he wrote "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" he was in prison, justifiably feeling sorry for himself. The behavior before and after prison indicates that any empathy he showed in that poem was either simply for himself, or prison had influenced him seriously - as in fact it did for a while. (He told a visitor with tears in his eyes how he picked up crumps of while bread from his clothing after finishing a piece of white bread - the man who previously liked to live on champagne).

I would still have admired him if he stood fast by his beliefs when his boyfriend left him. If only he had practiced what he preached and repeated:

.

" loyalty and fidelity are shallow and contemptible attributes"

.

I would have taken my hat off to him. As it was he really whined like a dog and I have only contempt for him as a man.

As an artist he was something else ...


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Very rarely you read the real truth about these geniuses. They always get glorified. Well done. SWher have you been all these weeks? Nice to read you hub again.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hello, Hello, some have taken what I wrote to be biased because he was a male homosexual. This is not so. His sexual preferences were his business, provided he did not hurt others or tried to corrupt and take advantage of his position.

Think of the matter in reverse, this way:

.

Imagine that after Paris Hilton dies, they find literature written by her which is thought to be at par with Shakespeare. You would respect her as an author, but you would know that in her heart and soul she was a bimbo.

It's the same thing here. :-)

In answer to your question, I am writing a book and spend all my time doing that and on research. And of course on reading and it was when I was re-reading Dorian Gray that I became angry and took notes as I read, to write this piece.

Thanks for passing by. :-)


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Surprise me there. I thought he was a homosexual. I doesn't worry me but many do still have so many stupid ideas about it. Wish you all the luck and success with your book. Take care.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Obviously you've gotten into Wilde's wildest side more deeply than I have - or would want to. I've been aware of his depravity and simply attributed it to the insanity which has sometimes accompanied other gifted artists, musicians and writers. I know nothing of his background or what may have led him into paths he chose for himself. The talent was natural. Perhaps that ugliness was a product of other influences not readily obvious when one is looking over his malpractices. But anyone even slightly familiar with "The Picture of Dorian Gray" gets a picture of a person such as you've described. Depraved in the most despicable ways. A sociopath, I guess. Few redeeming qualities. But he wasn't born so. It was what he became through circumstances and his own choices, just like anyone else who has ever walked the planet.

I saw the movie when I was in my teens and I can tell you that it made a lasting impression on me of how NOT to be and things to be avoided! It wasn't just the blatant actions but the hypocrisy and deliberate effort to present another "face" to cover and make it possible to "get by with it" which just grabbed my youthful attention and both challenged and insulted my idealism. I wondered how many people walking around are such shams and are hiding inner nastiness & it crystallized for me that I wanted to NOT join their ranks. Perhaps it had a greater effect on my development than any sermon or guidance I'd ever encounteed.

And as I began to realize who wrote the story, I couldn't help but put two and two together to realize that he had to have intimacy with & empathy for such a depraved life style in order to write it.

But, still - there is one thing about it, Dimitris. The monsters in the tale don't get away with it at the end, though the one who was sucked in was the most destroyed by it, I suppose. But that may somewhat mitigate the bad influence Wilde may have been making on his generation. In its own weird way, It's really a morality play. And what one brings away from any story or account really is one's own "position" at the time, I suppose. We see what we are geared to see and perceive.

What do you think? I mean - I know what you think and have expressed - but what do you think about the fact that the ruse didn't succeed for Dorian? Is there some value in that?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

I trust so much in your keen intellect and depth of reading that I actually questioned my own reading and capacity to fathom what is before me, the "evidence of the text," not read "between the lines" but... just the lines. I find the transcripts of his trial to be one of the most entertaining reads and evidence of brilliance under oppression by simpleton dogs serving a lacky master beyond which there is so little to compare. However, and again, given my tremendous respect and even sometimes awe for your writing, I am shaken. I find myself wondering if, despite my avid readership and "fandom" of his incredible perspicacity adn wit, somehow I might have missed something. I don't think I have, but, out of respect, and curiosity, I will go back through again.

One of the best lessons I ever got from a professor was the, "Read everything twice. Once as a believer. Once as a disbeliever. If you can't do both sides equally, you have given up." I don't think I gave up, but you have challenged me to re-read as a disbeliever, because perhaps I have been to enraptured by cleverness, brilliance, wit, cause and style.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

My Dear, Sweet Nellieanna, Dorian Gray was a novel and had to have a moral end. I do not have the slightest doubt that that was not Wilde's preferred ending. :-)

I have so much admiration for his work that it was very difficult for me to see him as I eventually did. I have come to realize that he is was made of the stuff that Ted Bundy was made of. Not the slightest real human empathy for others. Only for himself. He was influenced by his time in prison and made an effort to re-fashion himself, but his inner self was just too powerful.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

John, I imagine that you already know the considerable admiration I have for your writing and for you personally.

And that is the difference. I have admiration for Wilde’s writing, but no admiration for the man himself. And it was extremely difficult to make the distinction between a unique brilliant talent and a despicable character.

Let me put it to you in another way. Think of Einstein. A brilliant and at the same lovable man. But how would one’s perception of him change if one found out that the man brutally beat his wife and his children? Let me make it even more gross. What if he had been proven to be a paedophile? He would still be the great scientist he was, but as a human being our memory of him would be tainted beyond salvage. Thank God for our peace of mind that in his character he was a very ordinary human being.

Wilde believed himself to be an extra-ordinary human being. Which he was. But he also believed that this gave him a license to do as he wished. Which it did not.

Had he had the courage of his own convictions, I would still have admired him. He did not. He whined like a dog when put to the test and I feel only disgust for him. His De Profundis is proof of this. Even if he had not written De Profundis, the writings of one of his contemporaries and supporters who knew him well would have shown him for what he was. His biographer was not a saint himself, but his witnesses appear to bear him out. I shall try to find this and email it to you.

When you re-read his trial try not to read with the eyes of the person who is critiquing it. Just take Wilde’s own words under questioning and put them side to side. You will see that he uses his wit to support conflicting sides, very amusingly each time. But that is really not the point. For his homosexuality, he was unjustly treated by an unjust society in very hypocritical times. There is no question of this. And I do not care that he was a homosexual. It is his overall corrupt character that I take issue with, especially since later a whole generation tried to imitate him.

Just open any page of Dorian Gray and you will see the real Wilde.

My, this is a long reply :-)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Wow, DG.... Wilde's personal life must've struck quite a nerve since this hub is decidedly different than your normal style.

Therefore I have to wonder why Wilde has had this particular affect on you, especially since he died a broken, disgraced man a hundred years or so ago. Surely you know that throughout history, the younger generation habitually adopt rode models that the older and wiser easily recognize as unworthy of such adoration. It's only the normal rebellion necessary for the young to be able to assert themselves as individuals, a phase they grow out of sooner or later.

I've long been aware of Wilde's perverted proclivities, but the manner in which he chose to conduct his personal life does not alter my admiration of his wit and writing style. ;D


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you for your reply, Dimitris. It does shed further light on this intriguing subject. But I must quibble about the statement that a novel "had to have a moral end." That may hold true for the general run of novels written in Wilde's day, and possibly even now, but this was not a man - as you've described him - who would follow and fall in step with such convention, surely! No, I think the end was exactly what he CHOSE for its terrifying, dramatic effect and possibly even somewhat from the fact that he knew (or believed) that the "wages of sin is death" in his own life. Just think: how would he have known how to BE depraved, had he not really known that it WAS depravity, as compared to chastity and purity of spirit? And how would that have occurred to him if he had no awareness of and feeling for it? Hm?

I, too, along with John, need to further probe the works you've recently read which have led you to conclude that he was devoid of all humanity as we know it can or should be. I don't doubt for a moment the depth and conviction of your impassioned disgust and revulsion of his character - or that you can still admire his talent and erudition in spite of it. And I truly admire your conviction and frankly, consider this to be one of the best examples ever of your writing talent and character. Still, there are reservations remaining in my mind about the extremity of this premise which totally convicts Wilde's. I'm ready to be convinced, though.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Nellieanna, so you understand what I mean:

This man lived in Paris on the charity of his friends. He refused to write to support himself, which I can sympathise with.

BUT

He wrote the skeleton of a play and sold it SEVERAL TIMES to DIFFERENT PEOPLE of the same group which supported him.

In other words, he sold the same thing over and over again.

When one of those benefactors completed the skeleton and turned it into a successful play, Wilde demanded a share of the profits, EVEN THOUGH HE HAD BEEN PAID FOR HIS WORK!

Not only that, when his friend complained to him that the others to whom Wilde had sold the same skeleton were demanding the rights tot he play, Wilde used it as proof that he could have sold the same skeleton repeatedly and indefinitely to many more people, and so that was his argument in demanding more money. :-))))

This is the side of him for which I feel disgust.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Joanna, perhaps I have not managed to convey sufficiently well my disgust at his hypocrisy. But reading the quotes I have given, I do not know how to do it better :-)

I hope all is well with you :-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ah, yes. That is truly reprehensible! Yuk! Yeckt!


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

We can't always judge folks from the past by our present-day values. I always thought it was kind of disgusting of Lord Alfred Douglas to go ahead and get married to a woman and lead what looked like a "normal" heterosexual life, when Lord Alfred Douglas knew perfectly well that Wilde had gone to jail because of their association.

I did not know that Wilde was unable to see his own kids for the rest of his life. That's horrible, also, because Lord Alfred Douglas did have kids, too. Yet, he wasn't banned from their lives, I don't think.

Maybe there was a difference between how they treated a titled "noble" and how they treated a poor guy from Ireland. The Irish were second-class citizens in England, as they were here in the U.S. until --- I don't know, maybe the 1940's or 50's?

I believe that Oscar Wilde's situation might have had something to do with the fact that people now no longer can be punished for acts between and among consenting adults. I haven't read about it recently. Just trying to remember.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

DG, you imparted your disgust of the man quite well, and I too am disgusted by the way he lived his life. However, that still does not change my opinion of him as a WRITER. I'm sure there are many hubbers whose hubs you admire but whose life choices you would find disgusting as Wilde's IF you were aware of them.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Huntgoddess, in the ‘History of Modern Britain’ by Andrew Marr, the author claims that democracy did not come to the UK until the 20th century. The reason was people like the one you refer to :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Joanna, I am glad we agree as ususal :-))


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

De Greek: Ok, Now I'm REALLY confused. When you say, "people like the one I refer to " ---- what does that mean?

Regarding democracy in the UK: I recently read something that said the UK is now more democratic than here in the U.S. --- and I believe it --- so I guess they made up for lost time?

But, seriously, wasn't the Magna Carta the beginning of democracy? Didn't the Magna Carta say that even the king was not above the law? And, wasn't the Magna Carta British?

Just wondering.

Trying to understand.

I probably should have given up on THAT a long time ago, though LOL :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Huntgoddess

1 – You referred to Lord Alfred Douglas

2 – The UK is now a democratic country

3 – The Magna Carta was indented to protect Lord Alfred Douglas’ ancestors. ONLY. Everybody below that rank had no rights to speak of.

4 – Any contrary opinions should be addressed to the Author, Andrew Marr ;-)))


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

Not trying to express an opinion. I just didn't understand what you meant.

I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to even have any opinion at all.


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

For one who loves words and their clever usage, peering behind Wilde's thin facade seems akin to a hiker who, while enjoying a pleasant summer trek through nature's unspoiled hillsides, happens upon a brook with babbling, gurgling splashing water tumbling and rushing and sparkling in the splintered rays of the afternoon sun...a serendipitous symphony for the senses.

Then, upon drawing nearer, the wind shifts and the rainbow-bearing mist drifts and covers our faces in liquid stench...for the lively and refreshing sounds we had a moment earlier embraced, turned out to be the runoff of a cesspool. And, knowing the source, we regret the spoiling and seek a shower.

CP


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Christopher, that's just it: It's the source that spoils it all for me. There is no question of the man's LITERARY talent and his wit. But when one knows what lies behind all that talent.... the complete lack of human empathy for others... it sort of spoils it...


dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 5 years ago from India

I remember reading Dorian Grey when I was a teen and the book frightened and disgusted me then. I should read it once more from a fresher perspective. I have loved most of Oscar Wilde's works and I remember feeling sorry that such a brilliant writer should be treated so badly because of his sexual leanings. Maybe he should have just been born in another century.

About his being a despicable, base creature, I think there are many people like this..they are just able to hide it better since they are not in the public eye or maybe because they do not have their writing up for public view where it can be scrutinized and analyzed. Not that I favour hypocritical people...but it is just more difficult for writers to hide their true selves. It somehow comes through in their writings.

Do you think he never repented...

'Silently we went round and round,

And through each hollow mind

The Memory of dreadful things

Rushed like a dreadful wind,

And Horror stalked before each man,

And Terror crept behind...'


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Dianacharles, there is no doubt that while in prison he had second thoughts about parts of his life. But to me this poem is a reflection of the strong self pity he felt at the time and which needed expression. Human empathy is a trait that is constant and in Wilde there is no such available to be found. Don't forget that he also wrote 'De Profundis' at the same time, in which he truly wallows in self pity. In that, loyalty and fidelity are no longer 'contemptible' for obvious reasons.

When he came out of prison he was determined to lead a different life, which was an insanity because it was not in his nature. He was a gay man and he should have stuck to that, as it was his right to do.

It is his complete lack of empathy for others that I find so shockingly abhorrent. Honestly, I think that Ted Bundy was made of the same stuff. And imagine Ted Bundy being able to write brilliant and witty thoughts. …


moncrieff profile image

moncrieff 5 years ago from New York, NY

You're shirley taking the piss? Most educated nobility of his time did not even work, completely wasting their education, which was just part of the ritual. If he were that shallow, he would have never been able to elevate himself enough to write about that "shallowness" and come up with brilliant fairy tales, which are nothing but moral stories.

He definitely possessed a venom of self-destruction, not uncommon among people. In the end, he might have put on a supecilious vizard to look like a monster to accentuate the contrast between the beautiful and the ugly. Hence his appalling confessions in De Profundis and the court.

From an aesthete's point of view, Wilde definitely committed a crime of not living up to a sybarite's ideal fully. Wilde appeared to realize it and since there was nothing else to lose - he painted himself as the utmost sinner, which he probably was - but then everything has its price.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Moncrieff, I shall try to answer all of your points below, hopefully to your satisfaction:

“Most educated nobility of his time did not even work, completely wasting their education, which was just part of the ritual.”

- True. BUT: They had the finances which allowed them not to work. Oscar Wilde did not.

- Oscar Wilde did not want to work either, that is why he married: It saved him from having to earn his living. His wit allowed him entrance into ‘society’ which he desperately wanted. Because of his wit, he received many invitations and because of his wife’s income, he was then slowly able to reach the pinnacle of his wonderful talent and make a success of himself at last. Prior to that he was writing for penies and he had no time to socialize, unless he went hungry.

- The invitations to him from society were for ‘Mr & Mrs ‘ – He never took his wife with him, so the invitations eventually became only ‘Mr’

- He was not part of the nobility. His father, William Wilde was knighted in 1864 for his services to medicine. That is not nobility. But the father’s reputation suffered as well when Mary Travers, a long-term patient of his and the daughter of a colleague, claimed that he had seduced her two years earlier. She wrote a pamphlet crudely parodying Wilde and Lady Wilde as Dr and Mrs Quilp, and portraying Dr Quilp as the rapist of a female patient anaesthetized under chloroform. (SeeWikipedia)

-

“If he were that shallow, he would have never been able to elevate himself enough to write about that "shallowness" and come up with brilliant fairy tales, which are nothing but moral stories.”

- He repeatedly wrote with the utmost contempt for those who did not belong to ‘society’ and with even more contempt for them if they sought to elevate themselves by education. His witty comments about his contempt for such as described above are never quoted because they cut too close to home. They were intended for you and I in other words. ;-)

HOW MORE SHALLOW DID YOU WNAT HIM TO BE?

.

“He definitely possessed a venom of self-destruction, not uncommon among people. In the end, he might have put on a supecilious vizard to look like a monster to accentuate the contrast between the beautiful and the ugly. Hence his appalling confessions in De Profundis and the court.”

- You have not read De Profundis and you have not read the court transcripts. If you had, you could not possibly make such a claim.

“From an aesthete's point of view, Wilde definitely committed a crime of not living up to a sybarite's ideal fully.”

- He certainly did uo to that 'ideal'. All his efforts were in that direction and that direction only.

“Wilde appeared to realize it and since there was nothing else to lose - he painted himself as the utmost sinner, which he probably was - but then everything has its price.”

- He tried to paint himself as the victim right to the end

.

I am sorry to have to disagree with you ;-)


moncrieff profile image

moncrieff 5 years ago from New York, NY

Thank you for your detailed reply. I did read De Profundis and I read Ellman's tome on Wilde, I don't remember the court transcripts literally though. And yes, I connected nobility to his father's knighthood, applying here a very loose meaning to the term, rather non-British.

I re-read it and I guess you are right, to an extent, about his shallowness... that behind all his wit and jokes was his serious face, i.e. he actually meant what he said about 'society' behind the curtain. But then, wasn't that understood by his admirers to begin with? He was an elitist, a snob, he despised those for whom life was harder; he admired things that were not available to lower and middle classes - and all that was his character; he aspired to belong to the millieu that professed exactly the same views. What else are people led to expect?

He must have had a complex due to his origin and to the necessity to struggle to be accepted, and his contempt was a perverted reaction.

Cheers.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Moncrieff, thank you for your gracious response. :-)

I think we should really accept that though he was undoubtedly a uniquely brilliant & man, he was simply born with that particular selfishness that characterises a rare section of people who simply cannot feel empathy for others. He honestly reminds me of Ted Bundy :-)

Nice chatting with you. :-)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Ah Dimitri, you have given this such thought that your book is eagerly anticipated--I am delighted that you do not let it suck you in like quicksand and you bob out from time to time with these gems.

I was drawn to the title and upon reading I am gratified that we reached the same conclusion separately. I, however reached the conclusion in a rather bizarre fashion.

I have been aware that many hubbers write under different names on HP and since everything I write has a, well, Winsomeness to it, I decided to write under the name Oscar Wilde to see if I could look at things from the opposite perspective.

To be true to the character, I immersed myself in all of his wit and style so that I could "become" Oscar when I wrote or commented. Unhappily, I succeeded too well. I wrote a couple of hubs and commented in the disinterested and biting sarcasm that paralleled his writings.

You can guess the outcome--Winsome in Wilde's clothing. I got nauseated and had to change my clothes and take a mental shower. It was simply an exercise in writer's viewpoint, but thinking like him was a bit like Ted Bundy and I abandoned the thing--it may still be up, I haven't checked--and decided that however Winsome I may be, that will be my only voice on HP.

I picked him because I really do admire his wit and turn of phrase, but his base character comes out in his craft and I could not follow--even for the sake of creative research. Thank you for your article, I was feeling lonely too. (I even picked a fight with one of HP's gentlest souls, because Wilde would have--Sorry Tony.)

I will try to make up for my brief indiscretion by setting a new standard of wit and wisdom and humor that befits the quality of my fellow writers. Blessings. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

It is still up so for comparison: http://hubpages.com/@oscarwilde

=:)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

I am really very pleased that we both arrived at the same conclusion, by separate route. I have boundless admiration for his talent, but I feel only disgust for him as a person.

Thanks for passing by :-)

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