Monday, 9 June 2008

Delightful Obsessions I Have Had

1. Oscar Wilde

I had an entire imaginary life where I would go visit him and his arty friends in London, and have cucumber sandwiches and tea with them all. It did not strike me at all odd that a 14-year-old 20th-century girl should show up and be welcomed heartily by these people. I got most of the background material from a TV series titled "Lillie". Peter Egan played Oscar Wilde and he was brilliant. Later, I got down to actually READING what Oscar Wilde had written, and become even more obsessed. And again, on holiday in Houston with my brother, I found The Letters of Oscar Wilde at the Rice University Library, which of course, presented more background material and return "visits" to London for more Oscar and cucumber sandwiches. (Anyone with a dirty mind, please note: there is no symbolism here. In those days the sandwiches and their contents were literal, not metaphorical).

I now own that book of Oscar's letters, after hunting it down on when I was a wealthy adman. (A nice thing to be sometimes, and infinitely nicer than being an impoverished madman). I own all his works, in fact, as well as collections of his poetry and aphorisms - what a brilliant wit he was. I have biographies - one by his son Vivian Holland. And pictures - my friend Roberta sent me a postcard with an old photograph of Oscar and Bosie printed on it. I've framed it and put it up. People have asked me if it's one of my ancestors. Yes, in a way, I suppose he is.

The beatles.

Native American spirituality

Professor Snape

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