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Das Tagebuch des Oscar Wilde. by Peter…
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Das Tagebuch des Oscar Wilde. (edition 2001)

by Peter Ackroyd (Author)

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380552,078 (3.85)6
Oscar Wilde never wrote a last testament during his isolation in Paris. This book takes the known facts about Oscar Wilde and converts them into a fictional portrait of the artist and memoir of a life of great contrast - a career which ended with a catastrophic fall from public favour.
Member:dana_snsk_
Title:Das Tagebuch des Oscar Wilde.
Authors:Peter Ackroyd (Author)
Info:Btb Bei Goldmann (2001)
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The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde by Peter Ackroyd

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English (3)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 3 of 3
Wilde as known later. Not romantic. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Supposedly a journal that Oscar Wilde is keeping during the last summer and autumn of his life, whinging a little about his current situation and explaining the mistakes he made earlier in his life away, with a voice that seemed rather spot on--when I realised that this was indeed first-person Oscar Wilde towards the end of his life I was ready to put it down, as I've come across first-person narrators in historical fiction that simply don't work for me, because I just couldn't get my head around the person having the time, energy or inclanation for the kind of reflective take on their actions that the framing of the story seemed to require. But this one worked just fine. ( )
  mari_reads | Mar 7, 2011 |
Eindringende und persönliche Darstellung der letzten Lebensjahre von Oscar Wilde nach seiner Inhaftierung. ( )
  Kaysbooks | Aug 18, 2007 |
Showing 3 of 3
A journal is being written by a lonely man in a Paris hotel room. It starts, for its sins, on 9 August 1900. There was nothing auspicious about the date, no connection to former grandeur or glory. But there has been a chance encounter, on a rare excursion outdoors, with three young Englishmen. They recognize the journal's author, one Oscar Wilde, and they refer to him as "she". It is an event worth recording, an event that prompts recollection and reflection on a life.

Oscar Wilde's life was lived in public. Through exploration, then success and fame, and finally via notoriety and disgrace the author occupied a public mind. His talent was immense, his desire to exploit it almost single-minded and his success phenomenal. In an era when stardom in the modern sense was being invented, Oscar Wilde played the stage, published, courted society and self-promoted. He pushed at boundaries, sometimes not for reasons of art, but merely because they existed. He was, after all, an outsider, an Irishman of questionable parentage, but dressed elegantly in a frock coat and mingling with the highest.

He thus became a star for a while, a center of attention, a media figure. This was nothing less than celebrity in the modern sense, except, of course, that in his case there actually was some talent and ability in the equation. He was famous primarily for what he did, not for whom he became. But then there was a change. The fame was rendered infamy by publicity he could no longer control. And that downfall killed him. A final journal entry on 30 November 1900, recorded from the author's mumblings by a friend, Maurice Gilbert, records the event. Oscar Wilde had fallen while in prison, and had sustained an injury to an ear, an injury that festered.

Early on in his recollections, Oscar Wilde recalls George Bernard Shaw saying that, "An Englishman will do whatever in the name of principle." Wilde's qualification was that the principle was inevitably self-interest. It is a beautiful metaphor, because as a talented - even gifted - young Irish writer, Wilde was promoted and enjoyed success while ever he bolstered others' positions. The moment he sought an assertion of his own right, however, he was disowned. Celebrity can thus rub shoulders with the rich and powerful, but only on their terms.

And it was their terms that eventually killed him. The sybaritic Bosie encountered, the desire for things Greek aroused, Wilde found himself drawn into a society he could not resist. But he remained a self-confessed voyeur, and never became a participant. He thus remained forever the outsider, on the periphery of even his own vices. But he was eventually pilloried for what he became in the public eye to stand for. It remained only a state to which he aspired, if, that is, we believe him.

The Last Testament Of Oscar Wilde thus hops repeatedly across the boundary that separates a public and a private life. Eventually the two distinct existences become blurred. Because one is always trying to be the other, with neither predominating. Peter Ackroyd's book is a masterpiece with much to say about thoroughly modern concepts such as populism, celebrity, fame and identity.

 

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9 August 1900

                    Hotel d'Alsace, Paris

This morning I visited once again the little church of St Julien-le-Pauvre.
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Oscar Wilde never wrote a last testament during his isolation in Paris. This book takes the known facts about Oscar Wilde and converts them into a fictional portrait of the artist and memoir of a life of great contrast - a career which ended with a catastrophic fall from public favour.

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