Oscar Fingal O?flahertie Wills Wilde, known to the world as simply Oscar Wilde, led a life as elaborate and jaw dropping as the pronunciation of his full name. He scoured every crevice of his genius to write and rewrite his life, as a man?s tongue must search the soft, round corners of his mouth to twist out those thick, Irish consonants, and swallow every ounce of those vacillating vowels which come so flowingly into each other when proclaiming his magnificently foretelling name.
Oscar was named after a fictional Gaelic character that was born into a paradise where ?no one worked and no one grew old and time was endless.? (Belford, p.4) This was perhaps a foreshadowing for Wilde?s obsessions with youth, youths, and the purity of innocence. It may also have predicted his dependency on others for their money. He would later justify this by explaining that artists should not have such responsibilities as work; and the rich, who so enjoy their cultured company, should be happy to support them.
Even though his life was far from paradise and stained with dark areas of embarrassment and futile longings, Wilde was always able to surround himself with the fresh vibrancy of adolescence. He found nothing more inspiring than the untainted dreams of young boys, and nothing more precious than their fair skin and soft golden curls.
Having been brought up in a wealthy household in Ireland, Oscar?s early life appears uneventful and yet his surroundings were essentially splattered with eccentricity. His mother was known for wearing outlandish dresses to formal balls, which were often written about in the following day?s papers. She also found a bit of fame and controversy as a nationalist, but she was best described as an entertaining hostess with utmost charm.
Oscar?s father also had his...