Oscar Wilde: Reminiscences

Personal reminiscences from André Gide on a guy who profoundly prompted his work—Oscar Wilde
André Gide, a towering determine in French letters, attracts upon his friendship with Oscar Wilde to cartoon a compelling portrait of the tragic, doomed writer, either celebrated and avoided in his time. instead of bring together a whole biography, Gide invitations us to find Wilde as he did—from their first assembly in 1891 to their ultimate parting simply years ahead of Wilde’s death—all instructed via Gide’s delicate, incomparable prose.
Using his notes, memories, and conversations, Gide illuminates Wilde as a guy whose precise paintings was once now not writing, yet living.
This booklet includes a new advent by means of Jeanine Parisier Plottel, chosen costs, and a picture gallery.

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The plank mattress, the loathsome nutrition, the difficult ropes shredded into oakum until eventually one’s finger-tips develop boring with discomfort, the menial places of work with which each and every day starts and finishes, the tough orders that regimen turns out to necessitate, the dreadful costume that makes sorrow gruesome to examine, the silence, the solitude, the shame—each and all of these items i need to remodel right into a non secular adventure. there isn't a unmarried degradation of the physique which i need to now not try to make right into a spiritualising of the soul. ” And back: “Whatever is realised is true. ” and at last: “While for the 1st 12 months of my imprisonment I did not anything else, and will consider not anything else, yet wring my fingers in impotent melancholy, and say, ‘What an finishing, what an appalling finishing! ’ now i attempt to say to myself, and infrequently while i'm really not torturing myself do fairly and basically say, ‘What a starting, what an excellent starting! ’ it can particularly be so. it will possibly develop into so” Then with out fairly figuring out, or admitting to himself, that he's going cruelly counter to that “absolute humility” which he's extolling: “In the actual fact that folks will realize me at any place i am going and understand all approximately my existence, so far as its follies cross, i will be able to figure anything stable for me. it is going to strength on me the need of back announcing myself as an artist, and once I very likely can. If i will produce just one attractive murals I can be capable of rob malice of its venom, and cowardice of its sneer, and to pluck out the tongue of scorn by way of the roots. ” “I feel,” he is going directly to say, “that to not be embarrassed about having been punished is without doubt one of the first issues i need to reach to, for the sake of my very own imperfection, and since i'm so imperfect. “Then i need to learn how to feel free. as soon as I knew it, or suggestion I knew it, through intuition … Now i'm imminent lifestyles from a totally new perspective, or even to conceive happiness is usually tremendous tricky for me. ” Then somewhere else: “And if i'm really not ashamed of my punishment, as i'm hoping to not be, I will probably be capable of imagine, and stroll, and reside with freedom. ” if you happen to knew Wilde earlier than after which after legal, such phrases stay doubtfully painful; for his inventive silence was once now not the pious silence of a Racine, and humility was once just a pompous identify that he gave to his impotence. “Many males on their free up hold their criminal approximately with them into the air, and conceal it as a mystery shame of their hearts, and at size, like negative poisoned issues, creep into a few gap and die. ”—“Like a poisoned thing,” certain, that's relatively how I right here see the great Wilde; not the bright conqueror whom society, approximately to sacrifice him, cajoled, lamentably, yet mottled, deformed, drained; wandering like Peter Schlemihl in the hunt for his shadow, heavy and lamentable, and announcing to me with an try out at laughter which gave the impression of a sob: “They have taken away my soul; I don’t understand what they’ve performed with it. ” From the intensity of his “humility,” the bursts of his former delight are much more dismal: “I am now not prepared,” he publicizes, “to take a seat within the gruesome pillory they placed me into, all the time; for the straightforward cause that I inherited from my mom and dad a reputation of excessive contrast in literature and artwork, and that i can't for eternity enable that identify to be degraded.

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