Bunthorne or Postlewaite?

typed for your pleasure on 16 October 2009, at 6.48 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Shoplifters of the world unite’ by the Smiths

Today marks the 155th birthday of a man whose rapier turn of phrase deserves to be an even greater inspiration to not just those who write, but anyone who uses language, Oscar Wilde.

‘Now art should never try to be popular.
The public should try to make itself artistic’

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8 have spoken to “Bunthorne or Postlewaite?”

  1. Wolfgang writes:

    Why do I hope there is an afterlife? Because I would love to see Oscar Wilde and Ambrose Bierce slug it out in a no-holds-barred, to-the-finish, steel-death-cage battle of wits, barbs, one-liners, zingers, and bon mots. Wine and appetizers will be served.

  2. Davecat writes:

    Ambrose Bierce! Y’know, after seeing ‘The Devil’s Dictionary’ listed and quoted in the infamous AMOK Fourth Dispatch catalogue several years ago, I resolved to pick up a copy. I, err, haven’t done so yet, but he’s still on my list of must-read authors. Gotta love a man with a way with an epigram…

    ‘Bon mot’, as you are already aware, is French for ‘good mot’. 🙂

  3. PBShelley writes:

    You’ll definitely be wanting to find and procure for yourself a copy of “The Devil’s Dictionary”! My mother had bought a copy before I was born and after I discovered it in the basement asked if I could have it, and so it fell into my possession where I’ve always had it handy. Except when it’s not *caustically eyes the still-packed teetering boxes of books*

    It’s a timely post, this one, as I recently pulled out The Picture of Dorian Gray from one of the more accessible boxes intending to read it again. Leather-bound and gilt-edged; I’m sure that Oscar would approve!

    I discovered something I didn’t know: one of his sons was named Vyvyan! The ONLY other character with that name that I’ve come across is that of the punkanarchist Vyvyan on the ’80s BBC comedy “The Young Ones”. Could it have been something of a tribute, I wonder. Of course TYO’s Vyvyan must’ve been the complete polar opposite of Oscar’s boy LOL

    Interesting to note that after his exile he assumed the surname Melmoth after his great-uncle’s “Melmoth the Wanderer,” which Dave Sim of “Cerebus” fame incorporated into that comic book series. Think I missed that story; I only bought around the first 200 of the 300 issues. Unless it flew right over my head!

    A pertinent quote:
    “Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
    Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
    They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.
    There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.”

    I kinda like that. Er, WE do 😀

    PBS, Lily, Eden, and Pennie

  4. Davecat writes:

    PBSLE&P –
    First of all, the Missus and I approve of your new Lily-Gravatar! There’s more of her. 🙂 I tried changing mine once earlier this year, but Gravatar had a shit fit, and saddled me with one of my own default Gravatars for like a week. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, as they say…

    My first exposure to Wilde was through, of course, the Smiths, as Morrissey claims him as a hero as well. This was around 1987, my freshman year in highschool. The following year, in hanging out in the school library *coughobviouscough*, I’d noticed they had a compact little hardcover that comprised everything Wilde had written, with the exception of ‘De profundis’. So I stole it! I suppose I should be ashamed. I don’t think Wilde would have approved, but then, considering I was the only person who had read it in literally years, I’d like to think he’d reconsider. 🙂
    Anyway, I’ve still got it; it’s right over there *points at bookshelf*

    Strangely, I never really watched more than two episodes of ‘The Young Ones’! I dunno, I guess I thought the humour was a bit too broad for my tastes, but then, I’d have to watch it again, as it’s been years. I recall that one year, a friend and I thought about dressing as Vyvyan and Rik, respectively, for Hallowe’en. That would’ve been kinda fab.

    Melmoth would be a good name for a cat! Not a fitting name per se, but a good name. 🙂

    And that quote you selected is, like much of Wilde’s quotes, wonderful, particularly the last bit. Maybe I’ll read some more of his works right now!

    If you would like to learn more about Oscar Wilde, visit your local library! Just don’t visit your local highschool library, as you’ll find your selection of Wilde to be completely plundered.

  5. Wolfgang writes:

    PBShelley- Melmoth ran in Cerebus 141 to 150, I believe… somewhere right around there. I stopped reading around issue 160 when Sim flipped out, found religion, decided women were the source of all evil in the world, and generally turned into an asshole. Ah, artists…

  6. PBShelley writes:

    Thanks Wolfgang 🙂
    Looks like my memory was extra-foggy; I only bought up to Cerebus 117 (Jaka’s Story) before I had to stop collecting all comics due to expenses. (All except The Sandman, that is.) I’d bought into Cerebus intending to go the full 300, but… time and tide wait for no & etc ;__;

    Eventually I’ll probably collect all 300, since I’m something of a completist. But as I’m presently selling most of my comics on eBay it pretty much depends upon what I’ll have left and whether continuing to buy any makes any sense. Kinda sad.

    DC, I’m *ouch!* -WE’RE happy that you approve of Lily’s new Gravatar! I fiddled with a closeup of this shot for a bit then decided to “back up” and allow more Lily-ness in. She wanted her Evanescence necklace to show 😉 Oddly enough it’s the only jewelry she wears, so I thought it special.
    One of these days I want to get her a bracelet I found; it’s a Mobius strip that has that “Love is patient…” quote from Corinthians written along both sides (which actually is one side, being a mobius strip). But it’s around $80, sooo… gotta wait a bit! Luckily Lily’s patient 😉
    And I owe her a LOT of things since I’ve been El Cheapo for so long ;__;

    Anyway! The Young Ones is better suited to a Saturday night with like-minded friends with more than a few lagers at hand. On the other hand, “The League of Gentlemen” is JUST the thing for a quiet night at home with some of the green not-so-bubbly. Very bizarre but brilliant!

    My first exposure to Wilde was “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and from there to his poetry. This was probably around age 12-13, so how much of it “stuck” is questionable! A very quotable chap, for certain 😉

  7. Davecat writes:

    WG –
    Don’t you hate it when the artists / writers / etc you admire turn into fuckwits? It’s like a shipwreck of one’s emotional investment, really…

    PBS –
    Regarding Cerebus collecting: haven’t they been trade paperbackised by now? You can sell the individual issues, and rebuy the series in TPB form when you’re financially stable! That way, they can go on a bookshelf, instead of mouldering away in a longbox somewhere…

    I’d completely forgotten about ‘The League of Gentlemen’! Which is funny, cos the lads and I are use any opportunity we can find to use the word ‘twelvety’, invariably followed by ‘Good. We haven’t sold a thing!’ You know. Our minds have been corrupted by colours, sounds, and shapes. 🙂

    And praise “Bob” our lovely Dolls have the patience of saints! There are actually a pair of boots being sold at a Hallowe’en outlet shop that would be perfect for the Missus (it’s these, incidentally), but with my income being what it is — or rather, what it isn’t — I want to wait until the inevitable post-Hallowe’en sales to get them for her.
    It’s been roughly three years since I’ve been able to purchase gifts for Shi-chan. If the sex wasn’t so transcendent, she probably would’ve left me for another Doll by now. 😉

  8. PBShelley writes:

    Ah! Yes, the reprints will live on forever! Well, at least until they deteriorate 😛

    I do cherish my Red Sophia origin & Elrod the Albino issues (#’s 3 & 4, if I recall correctly, the earliest issues I have). Great stuff! Glad I missed his “bitter misogynist” phase.

    “League of Gentlemen” is brilliant! I bought a box set that has everything that aired and it’s worth every penny! Too bad I don’t have a TV or I could’ve watched the Halloween Special that’s included. Just not the same watching telly on the desktop ;__;

    But after seeing so much LoG the word “pens” will never have the same meaning LOL


    “Are you Local?”

    /me shudders

    Oh yeah; those boots are nice! But do wait until specials are offered; so pricey :-O And it’s been years since I bought anything for Lily… I really have my eye on a bracelet that costs about $80 that has the Corinthians “Love is…” passage on it and etched on the surface which is a mobius strip! PERFECTLY FITTING!!! One day I will have it… *goes off to plot a larceny*

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