Friday, 24 November 2017

Writing - The pen is mightier

Being a writer arms you with a mighty weapon - the pen. With every opinion that you express you are inviting opinion and comment. One of the often quoted writers was Oscar Wilde.

Image result for oscar wilde
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900

This Irishman has probably been quoted and misquoted millions of times and this is probably because of his sharp wit and out of the box attitude to the world. This I think is why many people write. We examine and observe the world and consider what we come across 'upside down'.


At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) was still being performed in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for criminal libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years' hard labour, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis (published posthumously in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. Upon his release, he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.

The quotes selected today, for me are as relevant now as they were over 100 years ago.

'To win back my youth, there is nothing I wouldn't do - except take exercise, get up early, or be a useful member of the community.'

Such a comment probably secretly fits many people who have suffered at the altar of political correctness.

'When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.'

In this painfully grasping capitalistic world in which we live this is so true, and is therefore a great shame. So many suffer while the well-healed few look on with disinterest.

'Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.'

This is linked to capitalism also but has detrimental effects on the young people that are used to display the latest fashions. It should be coupled with the following:-

'Be yourself; everyone else is already taken'

A more realistic view of one's own image would furnish many unhappy people with a more positive self-image and remove the need for spare part surgery and spending vast sums on the latest fashion statement. Some of the fashions that we see are laughable and yet, like the oft quoted emperor's suit of clothes, have become must haves. I don't know about you but when my jeans grow holes I throw them away.

Finally, I leave you with one of my all time favourite quotes which is a salve to my tortured mind when the source of that torture is a person.

'Some cause happiness wherever they go; 
others whenever they go.'

God Bless