19. April 2003

Oscar Wilde, Katholik

Ein Essay von Andrew McCracken zeichnet den langen Weg des Oscar Wilde zur katholischen Kirche nach: "I am not a Catholic, I am simply a violent papist."

"There is a satisfying symmetry to the story of Wilde's celebrity, his arrogance, his fall, and his humble acceptance of redemption, but we should resist the temptation to turn his life into a moral allegory. There is but a little room here for Catholic triumphalism, just as there is but a little room for an interpretation of Wilde's life that canonizes him as a gay saint. Unfortunately, most recent treatments of Wilde's life reduce him to the latter category: Stephen Fry's recent movie makes but one mention of Catholicism (and that entirely unconnected to Wilde himself). But if we can't simplify Oscar Wilde for our own convenience we are left asking — what was he then? - All of these: writer, wit, voluptuary, gay man, failed father and husband, sensitive soul, laughing stock, broken heart, eleventh hour Catholic convert."

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