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Monday, November 11, 2013

Oscar Wilde

"The best work in literature is always done by those who do not depend on it for their daily bread and the highest form of literature, Poetry, brings no wealth to the singer." 

— Oscar Wilde
Irish Poet, Novelist and Playwright
1854 -1900

Have you ever had the desire to write full time or paint full time?  If you answered, no, then you are probably not serious about your art.  Most beginning writers dream of being able to write full time.  It was my dream for over 30 years — something I longed to be able to do.  Only now that I have passed the sixty mark is it no longer a serious desire.  I spent a lifetime working to provide for my family and myself.  I have also spent a lifetime writing.  And one can do both if one is committed.  

Even if I suddenly had the financial means, I don't think now I would write full time.  And soon, in a few years I am retired, I don't believe I will write full time.  Oh, I will continue to write — probably until my dying breath and beyond if there is pen and paper in heaven.  

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, the second son of Sir William Wilde and Jane Francesca Wilde, Irish intellectuals.  His mother wrote revolutionary poetry and a lifelong Irish nationalist.  His father was ear and eye surgeon who was knighted for his services.  He also wrote books on Irish archaeology and peasant folklore.

Wilde was educated at home until he was nine.  He learned both French and German at a young age.  He studied and read the classics at Trinity College in Dublin.  He also studied at Oxford.  After graduating from Oxford, he returned to Dublin unsure of what to do next.  

Oscar Wilde explored various media for his creative work.  His first book of poems appeared at the age of 27.  In his early thirties he contributed journalistic articles to various journals.  At 33, he became editor of The Lady's World magazine.  He published his first collection of short stories in 1888 and two more in 1891. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, first appeared in a magazine in 1890 and a revised version appeared in book form in 1891.  His play, Lady Windermere's Fan appeared in 1892.  His last play, The Importance of Being Earnest, was performed in 1895 and published in 1898..