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‘Oscar’: Documentary on the importance of being Wilde

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Writer Michael Bracewell examines the importance of being Oscar Wilde, through the events and works of the great poet’s life.

Here, Wilde is compared to an Existential hero, a man who was brave enough to set an example for all of us - to relish in the essence of who we are.

Wilde was rarely modest, and best explained himself in a letter to his lover Alfred Douglas, Jan-Mar. 1897:

‘I was a man who stood in symbolic relations to the art and culture of my age…The gods had given me almost everything. I had genius, a distinguished name, high social position, brilliancy, intellectual daring: I made art a philosophy, and philosophy an art: I altered the minds of men and the colors of things: there was nothing I said or did that did not make people wonder.

I treated Art as the supreme reality, and life as a mere mode of fiction: I awoke the imagination of my century so that it created myth and legend around me: I summed up all systems in a phrase, and all existence in an epigram.’

First aired in 1997, this is a fascinating documentary explaining why Oscar Wilde still really matters, with contributions from Tom Stoppard, Stephen Fry, Neil Tennant and Ulick O’Connor.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.01.2011
08:00 pm
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