Oscar Wilde's Tomb and Quips

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
Oscar Wilde tomb 77392
The tomb of Oscar Wilde at Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Oscar Wilde, the progenitor of gaity. Here's some quotes from Oscar.

A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is invariably plain. -- Lady Windermere's Fan (1893) by Oscar Wilde (1854 to 1900)


No person of feeling, quipped Oscar Wilde, could read Dickens' account of the death of Little Nell without laughing. The same is true of the fall of contemporary art auctions. Last week, once again, Sotheby's and Christie's began their big spring sales of newish art. In the palmy days of the market boom, before the great flopperoola of 1990, these used to be attended with bated breath as a spectacle of utterly crazed consumption. Watch the chap from the Mountain Turtle Gallery in Japan bid half a million dollars for a Brice Marden drawing! Don't miss the sight of S.I. Newhouse and a Scandinavian squillionaire driving a Jasper Johns to an unimaginable $17 million! See the De Kooning go for $20.7 million, and listen to the whole room applaud the bid as though they had just heard Pavarotti sing Vesti la Giubba!
Auctions in the Pits By Robert Hughes. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980713,00.html
palmy = Bearing palms; abounding in palms; very lively and profitable.


“A sentimentalist”, Oscar Wilde wrote Alfred Douglas, “is one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.” James Baldwin considered that “Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel… the mask of cruelty”.


Lady Windermere's Fan, A Play About a Good Woman is a four act comedy by Oscar Wilde, first produced 22 February 1892 at the St James's Theatre in London. The play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde's comedies, it bitingly satirizes the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage.
Lady Windermere's Fan, 2012-10-23

At the height of his fame and success, while his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), was still on stage in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, prosecuted for libel, a charge carrying a penalty of up to two years in prison. The trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with other men. After two more trials he was convicted and imprisoned for two years' hard labour. In 1897, in prison, he wrote De Profundis which was published in 1905, a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming 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 (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of forty-six.

See also, the word Uranian. English: Ostentatious, Spurious, but Uranian!.

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed in 1895 in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play.

De Profundis (Latin: from the Depths)

De Profundis (Latin: “from the depths”) is an epistle written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to Lord Alfred Douglas. During its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde's conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. He indicts both Lord Alfred's vanity and his own weakness in acceding to those wishes. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ, whom he characterises as a romantic, individualist artist.