Admired and maligned, legends grew up around Mr Wilde--and scandal too! He was accused of effeminacy and plagiarism. He publicly declared his socialist political position, hinted that he was homosexual, consorted with princes and showgirls, and yet was sought after in the most fashionable circles of society for his brilliant conversation . . . as a dinner guest!
George Bernard Shaw wrote of Mr Wilde, He was the finest talker of his time--perhaps all time. A fitting tribute from one Irishman of genius to another.
The literary career of Mr Wilde rests mainly on a handful of works: The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windemere's Fan, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and De Profundis. An astonishing body of essays, criticisms, lectures and reviews remain essentially unknown to the reading public. It is, however, as a playwright that Mr Wilde achieved his greatest fame. These works for the stage abound with generous examples of his spontaneous conversation, his wit and epigrams. His utilization of language sparkles with concise well-turned sentences. The wittiest characters in these works are frequently Mr Wilde himself in numerous guises, the plays themselves functioning merely as containers for his own vivid personality.
© 1988-1999 Adel Rojo Llamazares.