10 February 2007

Wilde Anecdotes

Happily immersed in Oscar Wilde's biography, I came across a passage where he vaunts his fastidiousness as a writer. He spoke to his acolyte, Sherard.

- "I was working on a proof of one of my poems all the morning", he said, "and took out a comma."

- And in the afternoon?

- In the afternoon? Well, I put it back again.


And there is this most sordid scene that Wilde paints for a man should he discover that his wife has been unfaithful during a soirée. Oh, it is simply delicious. Read for yourself.

'Pretend to ignore the liaison and delight in watching them. It will get interesting as time draws near for his departure, after you three have been spending the evening together. You should yourself be more marital and you close the séance by giving him his congé with some such remarks as "Well, goodbye. We young married folks, you know...," and to the adulterous wife, "Au lit, darling, au lit." Then some minutes later you go in your pyjamas to the window of the nuptial thalamos and there of course Don Juan is standing on the other side of the road gazing at and sighing toward the place where Cressida lay that night. There you attract his attention and wave your hand towards him to imply that he must be on his way, while you hasten to the matrimonial delights that are awaiting you.'

Delightful don't you think? The man's a genius.

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