Monday, April 12, 2010

Book 35: Oscar Wilde and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

One of the things that I love about this challenge is that I am also getting the opportunity to learn more about the authors I am reading. A main goal when I decided to do this was to also research the lives of the people who's work I was reading. Many of the things I have found out are things I already knew, but I still get surprised.

I think it is important for readers to know about the lives of the authors they are reading, especially for classics and older books. There is a reason why these books have made lasting impressions on generations and it will serve us all well to remember that. In many cases, the story surrounding a classic novel is just as memorable and wonderful as the novel itself.

Now, stepping off my soapbox, I want to talk a little about Oscar Wilde. Truth be told, I don't know a whole lot about him, but the things I have learned researching him are truly fascinating.

Oscar Wilde was well-known for his social satires and his position on a lot of issues. In particular, he was very adamant about the importance of art on life. For Wilde, art could help us learn to live our lives in a better way. I agree with him. Since undertaking this mission, I have learned a lot from these author mentors. Their art is their writing, and from their words I have learned a great deal about life, love, and the people I encounter.

More interesting is Wilde's personal life. While he was married with children, Wilde was well-known for being with men. In fact, that subject comes up in many of his plays, and is hinted at in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Back then it was much more of a scandal than it is today, and caused some awkward situations publicly.

Wilde was also imprisoned for some time, as well as being involved in a few different court cases. The details are fuzzy to me, but I think that kind of past only makes him more intriguing. No wonder he is as well-known as he is.

I believe that the publicity of his private life made him even more famous than he was to begin with. We are all fascinated by the things celebrities do and say in today's world. Some of the things that hit the news are shocking and hard to believe and the world is simply in awe. I can imagine that Oscar Wilde's affairs were similar way back then.

He is truly a fascinating man and I would love to pick up a biography in the future to learn more.

Anyway, off to read and see how his personal life influences his art, and how that, in turn, influences me.


  1. I really want to read this book & I agree that knowing a background on the life and times of the author when reading novels such as this one really do help make sense of things. I hope you enjoy it. :)

  2. He doesn have a very interesting life. I find him a very unusual man and i hope that enjoy The Picture of Dorian Grey, one of my favourites.