⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Oscar Wilde Sexuality

Thursday, August 19, 2021 8:07:25 PM

Oscar Wilde Sexuality



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Oscar Wilde: An Aesthetic Life - Cool History

Upon graduating from Oxford, Wilde moved to London to live with his friend, Frank Miles, a popular portraitist among London's high society. There, he continued to focus on writing poetry, publishing his first collection, Poems , in While the book received only modest critical praise, it nevertheless established Wilde as an up-and-coming writer. The next year, in , Wilde traveled from London to New York City to embark on an American lecture tour, for which he delivered a staggering lectures in just nine months.

While not lecturing, he managed to meet with some of the leading American scholars and literary figures of the day, including Henry Longfellow , Oliver Wendell Holmes and Walt Whitman. Wilde especially admired Whitman. Upon the conclusion of his American tour, Wilde returned home and immediately commenced another lecture circuit of England and Ireland that lasted until the middle of Through his lectures, as well as his early poetry, Wilde established himself as a leading proponent of the aesthetic movement, a theory of art and literature that emphasized the pursuit of beauty for its own sake, rather than to promote any political or social viewpoint.

They had two sons: Cyril, born in , and Vyvyan, born in A year after his wedding, Wilde was hired to run Lady's World , a once-popular English magazine that had recently fallen out of fashion. During his two years editing Lady's World , Wilde revitalized the magazine by expanding its coverage to "deal not merely with what women wear, but with what they think and what they feel. The Lady's World ," wrote Wilde, "should be made the recognized organ for the expression of women's opinions on all subjects of literature, art and modern life, and yet it should be a magazine that men could read with pleasure.

Beginning in , while he was still serving as editor of Lady's World , Wilde entered a seven-year period of furious creativity, during which he produced nearly all of his great literary works. In , he published Intentions , an essay collection arguing the tenets of aestheticism, and that same year, he published his first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The novel is a cautionary tale about a beautiful young man, Dorian Gray, who wishes and receives his wish that his portrait ages while he remains youthful and lives a life of sin and pleasure.

Though the novel is now revered as a great and classic work, at the time critics were outraged by the book's apparent lack of morality. Wilde vehemently defended himself in a preface to the novel, considered one of the great testaments to aestheticism, in which he wrote, "an ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style" and "vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. Wilde's first play, Lady Windermere's Fan , opened in February to widespread popularity and critical acclaim, encouraging Wilde to adopt playwriting as his primary literary form. Over the next few years, Wilde produced several great plays—witty, highly satirical comedies of manners that nevertheless contained dark and serious undertones.

Around the same time that he was enjoying his greatest literary success, Wilde commenced an affair with a young man named Lord Alfred Douglas. On February 18, , Douglas's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, who had gotten wind of the affair, left a calling card at Wilde's home addressed to "Oscar Wilde: Posing Somdomite," a misspelling of sodomite. Although Wilde's homosexuality was something of an open secret, he was so outraged by Queensberry's note that he sued him for libel. The decision ruined his life. When the trial began in March, Queensberry and his lawyers presented evidence of Wilde's homosexuality—homoerotic passages from his literary works, as well as his love letters to Douglas—that quickly resulted in the dismissal of Wilde's libel case and his arrest on charges of "gross indecency.

Wilde emerged from prison in , physically depleted, emotionally exhausted and flat broke. He went into exile in France, where, living in cheap hotels and friends' apartments, he briefly reunited with Douglas. Wilde wrote very little during these last years; his only notable work was a poem he completed in about his experiences in prison, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Wilde died of meningitis on November 30, , at the age of More than a century after his death, Wilde is still better remembered for his personal life—his exuberant personality, consummate wit and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality—than for his literary accomplishments.

Nevertheless, his witty, imaginative and undeniably beautiful works, in particular his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his play The Importance of Being Earnest , are considered among the great literary masterpieces of the late Victorian period. Throughout his entire life, Wilde remained deeply committed to the principles of aestheticism, principles that he expounded through his lectures and demonstrated through his works as well as anyone of his era. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. As soon as they had been informed, they laughed still more. For half an hour I stood there in the grey November rain surrounded by a jeering mob. For a year after that was done to me I wept every day at the same hour and for the same space of time.

In June, the United States Supreme Court issued a critical decision that declared the part of the Defense of Marriage Act denying same-sex married couples federal marriage benefits unconstitutional. This landmark decision immediately opened the door to over a thousand marriage benefits that married same-sex couples can now enjoy in full equality with their heterosexual counterparts. Elsewhere in the world, countries made even greater strides. More and more, gay celebrities and celebrity-hopefuls are proudly coming out of the closet much earlier in, or even at the very start of, their careers. In the past two years in particular, an unprecedented number of athletes have shared their sexual orientation publicly.

But as Sir Isaac Newton taught us, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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