An exhibition in Paris looks at the many backs of Oscar Wilde, while new experiment suggests that a unseemly store hostess may have helped carry his bequest into the 20 th century.”>
PARIS Moderation is a fatal thing, Oscar Wilde famously quipped. Nothing supplants like excess.
Wildes famous nod to decadence goodness the entry to an exhibition at Pariss Petit Palais dedicated to the larger-than-life Irish author and wit who was as known for his sartorial glory( velvet cases and satin breeches were wardrobe staples) and refined savours, as for his play-acts , romances, and verse.
His affinity for the finer thoughts in life coupled with a meteoric has given rise to notoriety that was followed by an evenly speedy downfall realize his famous bon mot an apt opener for the French capitals firstly major expo dedicated to the celebrity wordsmith and Francophile, who was born 162 years ago this month.
Titled Insolence Incarnate,( L’impertinent absolu, in French) the display peculiarity some 200 pieces from private and public collections, including photographs, manuscripts, and depicts( Wilde was also an amateur artistry reviewer ).
On display is his original Salom manuscript, as well as a signed print of The Picture of Dorian Gray dedicated to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas. One display case even contains the visiting card from Douglass father, the Marquess of Queensberry, on which the( misspelled) parole sodomite is ominously scrawled.
Those familiar with Wildes tempestuous life will know that it was Queensberry who was the driving force behind his ruin. Angered by the relationship between Wilde and his son, Queensberry left the card that read, For Oscar Wilde, constituting as Somdomite at Wildes men club.
Wilde sued for criminal libel, resulting in Queensberrys arrest. In reprisal, Queensberry discharged private detective to gather proof of Wildes gay trysts in London.
The result was a financially and socially destroying contest, which led to Wildes two-year imprisoned for gross indecency in 1895. Following his freeing, Wilde returned to France, where he would die 3 years later at the age of 46 from cerebral meningitis.
David Charles Rose, an Oscar Wilde academic and the author of Oscar Wildes Elegant Republic: Changeover, Dislocation and Fantasy in fin-de-sicle Paris, told The Daily Beast that Wildes final years in Paris were dreary ones. Between his stint in prison and the bankruptcy resulting from his experiment, the onetime luxurious man of letters had become a virtual pariah.
A number of his former sidekicks no longer wanted to know him, said Rose. He was, in fact, in disgrace. He was a jailbird.
Wildes heartbreaking day of reckoning are only part of the story of his lifelong relationship with the City of Light, nonetheless. He stimulated his first trip-up here as a son and, following his wedlock to Constance Lloyd, expended his honeymoon here.
He wrote his biblically-inspired gambling Salom in French, and it was at Pariss Thtre de lOeuvre theater that Salom was first performed in 1896, having been banned in London for is just too risqu for Victorian audiences.
France and French culture was deep impregnated in him from an early age, Wildes grandson Merlin Holland, who behaved as the exhibitions historical advisor, told The Daily Beast. France represented to him something exotic and fearles, and was entirely different( from Victorian mores) and much freer involving looks on culture.
Before he suppressed the French capital, Wilde embarked on a year-long lecture tour of the United States during which the cash-strapped 27 -year-old saw 150 American cities.
A significant component of the exhibition is devoted to Wildes American wanderings, including 13 original advertisement portraits shot by photographer Napoleon Sarony.