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Oscar Wilde - The happy prince and other stories
Earlier this year I read Oscar Wilde's The happy prince and other stories. I like Wilde: his wit, his world views and his writing style. Last March Roeland and I visited his grave in Paris. There was glass protecting the tomb and it was covered in lipstick kisses. It made quite an impression on me, like all these people were saying thank you. Like with his books and his personal history as an outcast, he was still making a difference in people's lives, so many years after his death. This would be in line with the epitaph, taken from a verse from his The Ballad of Reading Gaol:
And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.
Apparently, the kisses became a 'thing' in the late 90's and the glass was placed in 2011 to protect the tomb from the damage all these kisses were doing to it. For many of the kissers this might just be a cult custom you participate in when making the rounds in Paris. But after reading a couple of his books I bet that there are still a lot of people who genuinly want to thank him.
What stood out for me when reading these fairy tales, however, wasn't the stories themselves, but the strong impression that George R R Martin has been inspired by them when writing his A song of ice and fire-series (Game of Thrones). A few examples:
"A cruel, power hunger child with white hair and purple eyes"? I'd say that has Targaryen written all over it.
"For the night is dark and (...)" It seems R'hllor's priests have read Oscar Wilde as well...
As Wilde lets Lord Henry say to Dorian: "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you have never had the courage to commit." We will, Oscar. Don't worry ;-)
Geplaatst op 11-10-2015.
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