ON October 16th, the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT OSCAR WILDE who was born on this day in 1854. He died in ignominy and poverty on November 30th, 1900.
Ostensibly, Saint Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel.
Known for his biting wit, he became the most successful playwright of the late Victorian era in London, and the greatest "celebrity" of his day.
His plays are still widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.
As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde experienced a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years' hard labour after being convicted of homosexual relationships, described as "gross indecency" with other men.
After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry and he never returned to Ireland or Britain.
That is the truth, pure and simple, of his life. But as Saint Oscar himself once famously said: "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple."
For that reason (and for many others) we remember him not only because he was notorious (something for which he might claim to be quite proud) but because he remembered Antinous.
He kept the name of Antinous alive through his poetry:
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smileANTINOUS had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile.
"Down leaning from his black and clustering hair
To shade those slumberous eyelids — caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy slope with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill hallo and pricking spear.FROM "THE BURDEN OF ITYS" BY OSCAR WILDE.
"—Lift up your large black satin eyes which are like cushions where one sinks!
Fawn at my feet fantastic Sphinx! and sing me all your memories!
Sing to me of that odorous green eve when couching by the marge
You heard from Adrian's gilded barge the laughter of ANTINOUS
And lapped the stream and fed your drouth and watched with hot and hungry stare
The ivory body of that rare young slave with his pomegranate mouth!
FROM "THE SPHINX" BY OSCAR WILDE.
Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot.
In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable
The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.
Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them so much.
A true friend stabs you in the front.
I don't want to earn my living — I want to live.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.