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Saturday, July 23, 2011

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about"

Jeremy and I just watched the movie Wilde, the biopic of Oscar Wilde. Stephen Fry's portrayal was so lovely that I didn't even notice what Jeremy noticed immediately. The movie did a great job of reducing a remarkable and dynamic writer, one of the greatest ever, and reduced him to just a gay guy.
The movie didn't focus on his early life at all, and barely on his writing. Nothing about his legacy, and nothing about the degree to which he revolutionized literature and theatre. Just, as Jeremy put it, "Wilde meets a boy, Wilde has sex with boy, Wilde makes a clever quip, Wilde meets a new boy."
I guess it's like that expression: You can build a thousand bridges, but if you suck one cock, they don't call you a bridge builder but a cocksucker.
I mean, obviously, the guy did hard labor for years for buggery, and in the end, that ruined him. You couldn't ignore that. But that was just the tail end of his life, you know?
Some critics and people who Discuss Literature say that many of Wilde's work parodied heterosexuals; how very narrow-minded and untenable a claim. Wilde's work parodied everyone - that's what Wilde did. But he had a great fondness for his wife and family. I think he really wanted to want a traditional life. He wanted to want his wife and a family; from what I've learned of him and what I've read of him, I think he might even have chosen to be that man if he could have. 
Biopics of authors so frequently miss the mark. Although they usually do so by inventing or exaggerating events in the lives of the authors that are the basis for their most famous work - as if these great authors weren't capable of, you know, inventing a story.
Except for the movie Finding Neverland. It contrived a love affair for which there is little evidence, and made the woman and her family the main inspiration for the story. It ignored the fact that the man had dwarfism - was, in a sense, a little boy who never grew up. And I think it's fair to say that his brother, who died as a child, influenced Peter Pan far more than anything. Especially since Barrie's mother often said that her only comfort in the brother's death was that he never was corrupted by having to grow up.

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