Oscar Wilde…I wish you lived now, in 2017. I’d want you as my best friend. We’d go to the movies, savor our favorite lines. Eat too many Milk Duds. We’d have our own special, private expressions at parties to share when that person cornering us on the balcony is a pompous windbag. We’d read books and discuss them. We’d go to art galleries together. Sometimes we’d make each other angry because we are both wildly opinionated about art and what constitutes art.
I always knew you were famous for a lot of things, especially being famous for its own sake-kind of like Paris Hilton– but in grad school I learned…
You ended your life a poor outcast.
I didn’t like learning that. I prefer to think of you as the party guy, the popular bon vivant, to the end.
Why is it that so many geniuses are misunderstood?
It didn’t matter that you wrote a beautiful children’s story, The Selfish Giant, which I used to read to my own kids. You also wrote perfectly lovely poetry that would make anyone with a heart and a predilection for beauty weep, or smile. You wrote stunning intellectual essays about the culture of aestheticism. You were famous for your wit. Who could not laugh through your play The Importance of Being Earnest? My beloved Colin Firth starred in the movie!
Thank you for being wild, Oscar Wilde. I’m sorry your life ended so tragically, but I try to imagine that to the end you retained your special spark. I hope that on your death bed, you said something only you would say. I hope there was a glimmer of a smile upon your lips as you faded away.
We will never know, your fans, but our consolation is that your memory and your work live on, challenging the world to see all people as worthwhile individuals who deserve to be fully alive, as you were.