Portal:Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer, poet and prominent aesthete. His parents were successful Dublin intellectuals, and from an early age he was tutored at home, where he showed his intelligence, becoming fluent in French and German. He attended boarding school for six years, then matriculated to university at seventeen years old. Reading Greats, Wilde proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Dublin, then at Oxford. After university, Wilde moved around trying his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems and toured America lecturing extensively on aestheticism. He then returned to London, immediately departed for Paris and spent all his money. On returning to London he began to lecture across Great Britain and Ireland which continued from 1883 to 1888. During 1885 he worked prolifically as a journalist eventually becoming editor of the magazine "Woman's World". Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress, and glittering conversation, Wilde was one of the most well-known personalities of his day. He next produced a series of dialogues and essays that developed his ideas about the supremacy of art. However, it was his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray – still widely read – that brought him more lasting recognition. He became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London with a series of social satires which continue to be performed, especially his masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest.

At the height of his fame and success, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall in a sensational series of trials. He sued his lover's father for libel, though the case was dropped at trial. After two subsequent trials, Wilde was imprisoned for two years' hard labour, having been convicted of "gross indecency" with other men. In prison he wrote De Profundis, a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. Upon his release he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, a long, terse poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of forty-six.

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Salome (or in French: Salomé ) is a tragedy by Oscar Wilde.

The original 1891 version of the play was in French. Three years later an English translation was published. The play tells in one act the Biblical story of Salome, stepdaughter of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who, to her stepfather's dismay but to the delight of her mother Herodias, requests the head of Jokanaan (John the Baptist) on a silver platter as reward for dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils.

Rehearsals for the play's debut on the London stage were halted when the Lord Chamberlain's licensor of plays banned Salomé on the basis that it was illegal to depict Biblical characters on the stage. The play was first published in French in 1893, and an English translation, with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, in 1894. On the Dedication page, Wilde indicates Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas as translator. In fact, Wilde had quarrelled about the translation with Lord Alfred because he thought his work unsatisfactory; the English text appears to be Wilde's own work, with Lord Alfred's as a basis. (more...)

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