Morrissey & the Oscar Wilde Influence

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
It is a shame that, disgraced as a famous older man, Oscar Wilde didn't get another chance when he'd become an even better human being. Maybe he could have saved the world if it could have forgiven him. Rather than being forgotten, he is more appreciated and loved now than ever; his spirit shines on.
It has been noted that in his last years Wilde was poor, shabby, reclusive, and missing a few teeth. He did, however, persist in smoking gold-tipped cigarettes and painting his face. He insisted, even at this terrible time, that he felt himself to be just as strong an individual as ever.

I don't know if he had already saved the world by that then, but he had certainly salvaged America; I don't know where we'd be without him.

Bless his painted soul.
 

Silke

New Member
But he lived for pleasure, dear child. His marriage is bound to be overlooked in light of such pearls as "nothing ages like happiness."
I agree with Oscar Wilde on what he said about children and Jesus. An attitude shared by many unusual people.

Yeh. And all that because Alfred looked pretty.:rolleyes: Sigh.

Poor Oscar, a good thing the internet didn't exist in his days, we'd probably be fans and we'd have a :tantrum: at him for anything!

Oscar, why did you do this?
Oscar, why do you say that?
Oscar you're doin' me 'ead in!
Oscar, you're getting fat!
Oscar, stop writing crappy plays or I won't bring you oranges in Reading Gaol!


:lbf: There was none of that with pretty Alfred! (Although I bet they had lovers' tiffs that would have bored the fighters here to tears...)
Poor Oscar. "Such a silly-(witty) boy"...:D
Pretty does not say much. Even though pretty, Alfred could have been very different underneath.

Even though they did not have the internet, they had the clubs and letter conversations.
 
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bailiffwithbadbreath

'so-slow liberation army'
Are you one of the gifted few trolls then? :) Do you sell autographs? :)
I have Madonna for £100 on the back of a Vogue LP and a signed Chesney Hawkes paper towel. If you're a man of more modest means, how about an authentic Jade Goody signature on a scrap of lined paper for £20?

Talented? Well I'm too talented for Morrissey so-slow but there are vagrants who meet that description.

The thing I most dislike about the site is the ludicrous, almost-comical pretentiousness, delivered without a trace of irony or self-awareness. This stodgy, witless threads bears apt testimony to the pointlessness of reading Wilde if you're without the talent to appreciate it.

The biggest irony of all is that I've never read Wilde but - if old Oscar were logged on - you can be as sure as frink he'd rather exchange letters with me than 'goinghome.' Dear, oh dear.
 

Barking

Active Member
The biggest irony of all is that I've never read Wilde but - if old Oscar were logged on - you can be as sure as frink he'd rather exchange letters with me than 'goinghome.' Dear, oh dear.
Nah dear boy, the biggest irony is that I've said all that before you, except I wasn't talking about Goinghome, (who, if he is never very ironical, has the advantage of being courteous), but that you never noticed.

As for writing to OskOsk, no doubt you would have found him a big bore after a couple of emails, because you'd never bothered reading his properly either.

You know what, I think, like you, that you're too good for this forum.:lbf:

Because of that, well, I don't know if Oscar would have liked you, but you'd get on swell with Morrissey I bet. :thumb:
 

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
Nah dear boy, the biggest irony is that I've said all that before you, except I wasn't talking about Goinghome, (who, if he is never very ironical, has the advantage of being courteous), but that you never noticed.

As for writing to OskOsk, no doubt you would have found him a big bore after a couple of emails, because you'd never bothered reading his properly either.

You know what, I think, like you, that you're too good for this forum.:lbf:

Because of that, well, I don't know if Oscar would have liked you, but you'd get on swell with Morrissey I bet. :thumb:
:lbf:

Now there's a notion - who would Oscar text?

The problem with the intertubes is that often you can't know a person from what they write here; some personalities just don't translate in their entirety. GH is a seriously funny person.

I somehow doubt that Oscar Wilde would much enjoy the company of an arrogant, dismissive, judgmental blowhard who has nothing but contempt for the company he keeps. Then again, he did have to deal with theatrical producers and literary agents.

As for Morrissey, all bets are off.
 

bailiffwithbadbreath

'so-slow liberation army'
:lbf:

an arrogant, dismissive, judgmental blowhard who has nothing but contempt for the company he keeps.
According to some accounts, that's a fair old description of Wilde. Still, it's remarkable that you can deduce all that about the nature of my character from half-reading a couple of my posts on so-slow regarding the generally pathetic mentality on show.

I refer you to the comment in my avatar. It says it plain and true.
 
G

goinghome

Guest
Here are some pieces of an article called "Oscar Wilde, Queer Addict: Biography and De Profundis" written Aug. this year by Clifdon Snider, who is a poet, queer critic etc at California State University. It's a fairly no-nonsense and detailed, sometimes even clinical, examination, as sympathetic as it is largely realistic, of why Wilde may have behaved as he did.


- Although there have always been brave scholarly and creative souls who have dared write about him, Wilde's literary reputation did not begin to rise until about the middle of the twentieth century. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, there is an academic industry devoted to Wilde, augmented by the popularity of Queer Studies, one of the most current trends in literary criticism. Commentators as disparate as Arnold Bennett, a fine though seldom-read early-twentieth-century novelist, and W. H. Auden, a giant of twentieth-century poetry, have agreed that The Importance of Being Earnest is his "best work" (Bennett 418), "perhaps the only pure verbal opera in English" (Auden 322). Bennett was completely wrong in his opinion that "Wilde's popular vogue is over" (417), and Auden, right in so many of his opinions on Wilde, was completely wrong to call The Portrait of Mr. W. H. "shy-making" and The Picture of Dorian Gray a "bore" (322). However, reviewing the Rupert Hart-Davis edition of The Letters of Oscar Wilde (1962), Auden is right on the mark when he observes that after prison, Wilde "turned to the only consolations readily available--drink and boys" (319).

Wilde's grandson, Merlin Holland, gives an excellent summary of the history of Wilde as a subject of biography in his article, "Biography and the Art of Lying," published in The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde (1997), and supplemented by his richly-illustrated but brief biography, The Wilde Album (1997). The early recollections by those who knew Wilde were "fragmentary, even impressionistic, and books for the most part alluded to his downfall in veiled terms" ("Biography" 5). Even the indispensable biography by Richard Ellmann contains errors, such as the photo of Wilde in drag as Salomé, which is actually the "Hungarian opera singer Alice Guszalewicz as Salome, Cologne, 1906" ("Biography" 11). Basing his judgment on the latest medical findings, Holland also believes Ellmann is wrong about Wilde having suffered from syphilis (12-13), and I agree with Holland's assessment. As Holland says, "The French doctor who attended Wilde [on his deathbed] and signed the diagnosis, Paul Claisse, had previously written papers on skin disorders, meningitis and tertiary syphilis, all conditions which are alleged to have contributed to his [Wilde's] death" (13). Had Wilde suffered from tertiary syphilis, surely Claisse would have discovered the fact.

Despite the weighty attention Wilde and his work have received, I agree with John Lahr's assertion: "None of Wilde's biographers offer an interpretation of his self-destructiveness [. . .]". Lahr adds, "for that one has to read between the lines of Wilde's wit" (xxxix). Yet, although Lahr cites a few lines of that famous wit, he doesn't begin to analyze Wilde's self-destructiveness. This I intend to do. I suspect biographers and critics have shied away from the subject for a number of reasons: personal friendship with Wilde, self-protection (here the prime example is Lord Alfred Douglas), other aims, lack of knowledge and evidence, and political correctness. Queer critics in particular may not want to sully the reputation of one who is, after all, a gay icon.1 As a queer critic myself, I have no intention of tarring Wilde's reputation in the least. What I intend to do is to uncover some of the reasons for Wilde's self-destructiveness, recognizing, as Wilde says in Intentions, the full truth is "unattainable" (405)...

...But why did Wilde continually take Bosie back after all kinds of scenes, lies, extravagant outlays of Wilde's money, and interruptions of Wilde's creative time? Why did he not end their "fatal friendship" (693 and 770)? Repeatedly, Wilde accuses Bosie of a "lack of imagination," his "one really fatal defect of . . . character" (709) and berates him for having "the supreme vice, shallowness" (715). Had Wilde refused to see Bosie after his release from prison, one might believe all this vituperation. However, just as he had accepted Bosie back approximately every three months, as he says in De Profundis, so he returned to live with him in Naples after his release and with the certainty of losing his income from his wife for doing so. Clearly we are dealing with an addiction here, but not a sexual addiction (for Wilde and Bosie sex was never an important part of their relationship), and not a relationship addiction, for both sought other sexual partners and never took the time really to become intimate with each other. The addiction was romance, and for Wilde it was as fatal as any drug.

Within five months after his release from prison (September 1897), Wilde was living with Bosie in Naples. In defense of his decision, he writes to Turner:

- Much that you say in your letter is right, but still you leave out of consideration the great love I have for Bosie. I love him, and have always loved him. He ruined my life, and for that reason I seem forced to love him more: and I think that now I shall do lovely work . . . whatever my life may have been ethically, it has always been romantic, and Bosie is my romance. My romance is a tragedy of course, but it is none the less a romance, and he loves me very dearly, more than he loves or can love anyone else, and without him my life was dreary. (948, emphasis Wilde's)

Wilde adds: "So stick up for us, Reggie, and be nice." We know in retrospect that Wilde did not do "lovely work" living with Bosie. Apart from finishing "The Ballad of Reading Goal" in Naples, he added nothing to his creative oeuvre. The key words in this letter are "seem forced" and "without him my life was dreary": the romance addict without his fix is compelled to find it again. Others intervened to break them apart, but doubtless they would have broken up in time, for the old pattern had reasserted itself. Bosie was again spending Wilde's meager funds as if he were entitled to them (Ellmann 555). It was the same fatal process Wilde had wailed about in De Profundis. Disease is no respecter of people, time, or place.

Schaef describes four levels of romance addiction. The first two fit Wilde well. The first level "is the person who practices his or her addiction almost completely in fantasy," and in the second level "romance addicts act out their fantasies" (62). Third level addicts act out "in such a way that it is harmful to themselves and others and may even verge upon or be illegal" (64, emphasis Schaef's). This level also applies to Wilde given the fact that were it not for him Alfred Taylor, the person through whom Wilde met his rent-boys, would not have been tried and convicted, never mind the harm Wilde did himself through his romantic addiction to Bosie. As for the illegal actions, the applicable laws no longer apply (and of course never should have been on the books).7...

...Despite the obvious delight with which Wilde describes his "tricks," to use a modern word, he felt equivocal about them. He says in a letter to Ross from Rome (14 May 1900):
- In the moral sphere I have fallen in and out of love, and fluttered hawks and doves alike. How evil it is to buy Love, and how evil to sell it! And yet what purple hours one can snatch from that grey slowly-moving thing we call Time! My mouth is twisted with kissing, and I feed on fevers. The Cloister or the Café--there is my future. I tried the Hearth, but it was a failure. (1187)

...Schaef writes that "romance addiction keeps individuals . . . immature" (72). And some fifty years ago one of Wilde's biographers noted Wilde's "emotional life . . . never reached maturity" (Pearson 285). Worse than that, his addictions, whatever their causes (and homosexuality was not one of them), led him on a path of inevitable self-destruction. His final illness can not have been helped by his drinking and smoking cigarettes nearly to the end. Nevertheless, during his last years perhaps the drinking and the romancing ironically alleviated some of the pain caused by those very addictions and by his loneliness and the routine rejections of those who used to honor him. Wilde's work remains. By now it has passed the "test of time." As a gay icon he remains both a positive and a negative example to all sexual minorities just as he remains one of the best as well as one of the most popular writers from the late nineteenth-century. From - http://www.csulb.edu/~csnider/wilde.queer.addict.html


Even when someone's own flaws contributed to their casting-out from the pack, if a unique talent bloomed to delight the masses amidst the squalour and an earnestness of spirit remained, then Morrissey seems to be inclined to champion such artists. Jobriath is another example. Morrissey does not like to inter the good with the bones; he honours the memory of the gift. In Wilde's case, the bequest is large.
 

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
According to some accounts, that's a fair old description of Wilde.
According to some accounts, Morrissey matches that description as well; I'm sure at times it's true.

Still, it's remarkable that you can deduce all that about the nature of my character from half-reading a couple of my posts on so-slow regarding the generally pathetic mentality on show.
Your contempt for this community is unmatched (see above). Your dismissal of a thoughtful person like GH is completely unwarranted. To make judgements like that displays great arrogance, and to give voice to them shows even less common sense.

To give you your due, however, you are a champion troll. Troll in the commonly understood sense of someone who posts inflammatory statements on message boards and online discussion forums for a giggle. Intellect has little to do with it, but if you want to believe that you are a misunderstood, sophisticated genius bringing enlightenment to the great unwashed at Solo, I can't stop you.

I refer you to the comment in my avatar. It says it plain and true.
I can't quite make out the text in your avatar (it's far too tiny), but according to your custom user title you wish to be greeted as a liberator.

:lbf:

Now, where did I put all my flowers and candy...?
 

bailiffwithbadbreath

'so-slow liberation army'
To make judgements like that displays great arrogance, and to give voice to them shows even less common sense.
That doesn't make an awful lot of sense but I know what you meant to say.

Nonetheless everything I've stated is evidently true. Truth above all. Despite your unprovoked attacks on my character - please note I did nothing to provoke you - I shall continue to treat you respectfully. Unlike you, you see, I am not an ignorant person. Incidentally, do please note what you have said about me is far more unkind than my rather mundane observation about goinghome's bloated, crippled writing style and absent comprehension.

After all is said and done, I remain a wonderful writer, a charming person and an ascerbic wit. That's good enough for me! ;) If you're an admirer of old Oscar, it should be good enough for you too! :lbf:
 
G

goinghome

Guest
According to some accounts, Morrissey matches that description as well; I'm sure at times it's true.

Your contempt for this community is unmatched (see above). Your dismissal of a thoughtful person like GH is completely unwarranted. To make judgements like that displays great arrogance, and to give voice to them shows even less common sense. =QUOTE]

Is it still all about me?! How could a few words from me become such a thorn in the side of a newcomer? Surely we have met before?!! V for...?

Let it be, Anaesthesine, they can't help themselves. It's a pity that they can't hold a civil discussion, that's all.
 

Fury

New Member
Slightly off topic but....reference the link to passionsjustlikemine.com, on the 'under the influence' category it is stated that 'Morrissey is seen doing a puzzle of Billy Fury on the photo used on the cover of the "Oye Esteban" DVD compilation' but I think quite clearly this appears to be Elvis not Billy. Can anyone concur?
 

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
Happy New Year.

Now, where were we...

Nonetheless everything I've stated is evidently true. Truth above all. Despite your unprovoked attacks on my character - please note I did nothing to provoke you - I shall continue to treat you respectfully. Unlike you, you see, I am not an ignorant person. Incidentally, do please note what you have said about me is far more unkind than my rather mundane observation about goinghome's bloated, crippled writing style and absent comprehension.
Oh yes, respect.

What I said about you was based not only on your assessment of a friend, but your repeated trashing of this site and everyone on it. I've already pointed this out, to little avail.

Still, I'm here strictly for the pleasant company and the interesting conversation - I don't need the drama. Henceforth I will try to resist those types of exchanges that go nowhere fast.

Good day to you, sir. :)

Let it be, Anaesthesine, they can't help themselves. It's a pity that they can't hold a civil discussion, that's all.
Right you are, GH. Very sensible.

Back to OW and SPM...
 
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goinghome

Guest
Right you are, GH. Very sensible.

Back to OW and SPM...
Good. For a while there the intent of turning on the 'ignore' function was being missed. ;)

I've started to listen Smiths because I've read Wilde before I have known Morrissey's song.
Do you mean that reading Oscar Wilde somehow led you to listen to The Smiths? Interesting.

Not Morrissey related, but I thought Wilde fans would enjoy this. A librarian found this inside of a book:



Found here:
http://www.forgottenbookmarks.com/2009/09/from-library-of-paul-bunyan.html

At my new favorite website:
http://www.forgottenbookmarks.com/
This is very moving. And that website is full of tender revelations. :)
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Slightly off topic but....reference the link to passionsjustlikemine.com, on the 'under the influence' category it is stated that 'Morrissey is seen doing a puzzle of Billy Fury on the photo used on the cover of the "Oye Esteban" DVD compilation' but I think quite clearly this appears to be Elvis not Billy. Can anyone concur?
It is quite well known that it is Elvis and none other.
 
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