Bookish Thought #28

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray


7 thoughts on “Bookish Thought #28

  1. Yes! I agree with this.

    Before I completely dismiss a thought as disgusting, I fight my instinctual reaction and pick at what truly bothers me? Is the book amoral? Does it go against what I believe in but can this idea work for others?

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  2. True. If he lived in England, how he did in his days, he would’ve been accepted for being homosexual. If he went vacationing to the Middle East, yes he’d go through hell but I doubt India would imprison him per se.
    But even then, I want to stick to the idea of Oscar Wilde being alive because I love him so much. 💘

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    1. True, 😉 if he lived in England, he would have legal rights but there are numerous cases of hate crime against homosexuals there which is what I was talking about. He would still face discrimination, just in a less bashful form. As I said, I don’t know what his reaction would be to that.

      The Middle East would not be good, agreed but don’t underestimate India just yet.

      I get your point about the idea of Wilde being alive today. It is pretty tempting. I’m just saying that I’m not sure that life in today’s society would be better for him than it was in his own time.

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  3. Considering the fact that this very novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was condemned by critics for being “immoral”, Wilde knew what was going to happen to his work. Aw mahn, he is the best 😀 I reallyyyyyy wish he was still alive, we would have cherished him. In those times, the society disrespected him and didn’t appreciate his work enough. Even, The Importance of Being Earnest, was waved off as trivial or frivolous comedy that was only supposed to be laughed at, and then forgotten -__-
    Now that I’m studying the play, I know how genius it is. The farce and satire and the carefully written dialogues and monologues with so many epigrams and the pun on “Earnest”- everything about it is amazing. I love Oscar Wilde (:

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    1. You seem like a Wilde fan. I like the idea of having Wilde alive today but something tells me that he would have been controversial even today. So many writers have their books banned even today. I’m not sure society today would treat him any better than society in his own time did.

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      1. I do agree about him being controversial even today, which is the best part haha. I love writers who are controversial because they speak blatant honesty, even if it is ahead of their times.
        Nowadays, books being banned, I guess is a lot more religious sensitivity and intolerance, a topic which Wilde didn’t speak much about so perhaps he would survive.
        I don’t think today’s society would ill treat him as much though. We definitely wouldn’t imprison him for being homosexual. His works wouldn’t be labelled as “immoral” or “trivial and frivolous comedy”. Guess things wouldn’t be at the top notch for Wilde, if he were alive today, but they would still be a whole lot better than his times. What say?

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        1. I like controversial authors myself.

          Naturally, religious intolerance and insensitivity is one of the major reasons for banning books, it is not the only one.

          Whether he would be imprisoned for being homosexual really depends on where he would live or go on vacation, honestly. If he makes the mistake of coming to India or say, the Middle East, he might as well be living in his own time.

          As for his works, I don’t think the works he wrote would be “immoral” today but to me, Wilde seems like an author who delights in showing the world its own faults. He is an artist who acts as a mirror in which society sees itself. So, if he were alive today, I’m sure he will find something to write about that would earn him the “immoral” or even the “trivial and frivolous comedy” batch.

          Would things be better for him today, in some parts of the world, yes. I honestly don’t know how he would react to a society that has legalised homosexuality but continues subtle discrimination against the community even today. His reaction to subtle, below the surface discrimination as opposed to full, on-the-face condemnation would be interesting to me. But whether he considers that to be better really depends on his perspective and I honestly don’t know.

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