Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On seeing the last photograph of Oscar Wilde

The last photograph. Taken in 1900, a few months before he died. There he stands unrecognisable. It's him. But people in the street now pass him by and no one stops, no one whispers. You see, gone are the locks, gone are the Dandy and the scandal, gone is the panache and the nonchalance.

Just an overweight gentleman. Awkward he finds what was effortless before. And a broken man, he has no time for wit and all that goes with it. In fact everything feels already published and long ago out of print. Oh yes, the portrait hidden in the attic has already started to look all the better.

The inevitable decay of light into darkness, of fame into infamy, of Oscar into Dorian and of Wilde into tame, has finally caught up with him. The bargain is not valid anymore. Just a last photograph. For all time's sake. "Try taking the profile", he said. "I am tired of looking straight at the camera. I've been doing that all my life."

It only took a few more months, for the last blemish to be wiped clean as if by magic from the portrait of Dorian Gray in the attic. Eternity was finally his.


  1. I'm filled with wonder and sadness reading your words coupled with this photo, Douglas... wow.

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog Jonathan.


    1. Oscar from the other side ^^ if you are willing to open your mind up to that possibility, you find this very interesting.