Maspalomas February 9, 2011 10:10 a.m. GMT
An MGM sunrise began this day. Gorgeous. Surreal reality. I am glad we saw it.
Gladness is especial. My heart is warm.
This day will be a slow, fast-reading day. I am anxious to get to reading a book with a comic flair that will elicit laughter. Currently, I am reading Barbara Belford’s biography Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius. The Wilde witticisms make me smile. They do not make me laugh aloud.
I am finding that Oscar thought too much. He did not set on paper his thoughts. It is sad he was young when he passed for I am sure many great volumes were buried with him. [He was forty-six.] Naturally, that statement can be attached to any writer. I write that because I now know how little Oscar had produced by the time he was on his acclaimed American tour. Other than a few poems, and an unproduced play (“Vera”), he had nothing to merit his celebrity. He made a striking figure when he was out in public. He was a sparkling personality at a dinner table. He was the darling of the tabloids. He craved publicity.
Publicity is a beast. Today, I find some beasts are best when ignored. Survival needn’t be a concern. Beasts will feed on the smallest titbit tossed into their cage. Yes, cage. Fortunately, many cages are made of bamboo and can be smashed. The result is more, yes, publicity. Where would we be without access to publicity?
Maspalomas February 10, 2011 8:31 a.m. GMT
This vacation is a vacation. I am not even mulling what I could do when I return to Zwerglipatch in Hauppauge which makes this a true-blue vacation.
There was a thunderstorm last night that sounded like a roaring jet. The vibrations felt like an earthquake. This morning, one would never know it rained. From where I sit, I don’t see a single cloud in the sky.
Look at this penmanship. I am in a hurry to finish today’s muse and finish the last few pages of that Oscar Wilde biography.
So, gotta go — as they say — Aloha!
Maspalomas February 11, 2011 10:02 a.m. GMT
When I awoke at five this morning, I looked out of the window at the firmament. Feeling like a piece of clay, I went back to bed and slept until seven-thirty. Having turned out the light at around nine the previous night, I must have required sleep. I awoke not feeling like a lump of clay. I would have enjoyed staying in bed, but, another day beckons.
After checking my e-mail, René awoke while I was shaving. We sat outside in the sunshine breakfasting. I wrote today’s poem; and now, I scribble as I sit enjoying the Canarian Sun.
Before sleeping last night, I read three stories by Kate Chopin to René. These were: “Emancipation: A Life Fable”, “A Shameful Affair”, and, “At the ‘Cadian Ball”. This American author is new to me. Kate lived from 1850 to 1904. I have no idea if these three stories are considered her “best”. I do know, for me, they were an introduction to an author who attains a strong sense of place and character. Her snippets were a slideshow which had smooth transitions. I look forward to reading her novella The Awakening which these stories are tacked onto along with quite a few more.
René made it through seventy pages of my reading Clayton Littlewood’s Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho. I shall continue Clayton’s blog for that is what it is. In fact, after René fell asleep after last night’s reading of the Chopin stories, I continued the Littlewood diary until I, too, fell asleep.
It fascinates me, a scribbler, to read another self-named scribbler. Clayton, being a witness to Soho life, has an array of character sketches to place on paper. These do amuse me. However, are they worth reading as little sketches? His sketches would make a novelist’s outline of possible characters. I am now more than halfway through his book and fear that there will be no ending — no payoff for the reader. I will also say that, for me who has seen many characters akin to Littlewood’s Soho set due to my days living in Greenwich Village, these people, characters, if you will, are not new to my senses which is probably why I expect a bit more than, hmm, the average reader who may know absolutely nothing about gay life as witness to the fringe of society.
Fringe is decorative and frilly. Frills are required. Littlewood’s scene should be seen by anyone, and everyone, who wishes to break out of a lethargic, comfortable life and see how the “fringe of society” lives. I will not deny that Littlewood’s characters are people I have witnessed. And, I will say that I am enjoying seeing these characters anew. Plus, I do not miss having to live and work with characters who thrive on turmoil. Well, you do know, I hope, what I mean. I don’t.
I do know that life is full of irony.
When I finished JWG’s Miniscule Past, I wrote “The End” on the final page. This seemed downright silly to me as that volume, although not the beginning, seemed more of a start, so, I added the words “The Beginning”. Now, when one comes to the final page, “The End—The Beginning” shall be read.
Yesterday, when reading the final pages of Barbara Belford’s Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius, I read how Oscar wrote to Max Beerbohm concerning Max’s homage to Dorian Gray, The Happy Hypocrite. When Oscar read this satire, he wrote, oh, not to Beerbohm, I’m mistaken, to Reggie Turner, that he began “at the end, as one should always do.” Oscar Wilde claims that the end of art is the beginning.
Now, don’t even think that I consider my musings and scribblings “art”. But, I do know what I place on paper. I do know what I read. I do know I read Belford’s biography of Wilde from beginning to end. (Excuse my mixed tenses. Future, present, and past can entwine into the singular, no?)
My reading, in the past, of a biography on Wilde was done piecemeal. When I had a question about Wilde, I would look through the index to find, hopefully, pages with an answer. This research, for lack of a better word, does not give one the perspective of scope needed to understand, if one can understand, a life. The Belford biography, for me, was a good read. She seemed fair and non-judgemental to Oscar’s lifestyle.
Once again, as I suspected, one can appreciate the art and not the artist. I, myself, enjoy reading Oscar Wilde’s oeuvre. I am glad he was not around in my lifetime. I am happy he was not a character whose downfall I had to witness in today’s news. His petulance would have been most discouraging. I question how his peers could consider him to be “genius”. Were there so few people, in his time, that attempted to attain individuality that his own persona shown as “genius”? Certainly, he is remembered. Certainly, his work is worth reading. As for “genius”, I, myself, think not. Oscar Wilde, a bisexual man who chose homosexuality at the end of his lifetime, is, for me, a man to be pitied for making many a wrong choice. I find little to admire in the life of this charlatan we know as Oscar Wilde.
With this clarity of mind, under a clear Canarian sky, I shall now take a walk with a wonderful mate — My René.