Photograph of Oscar Wilde in coat and with walking stick

Do you have OOWD (Obsessive Oscar Wilde Disorder)?

Photograph of Oscar Wilde in coat and with walking stickSymptoms:

  1. All your conversations begin with “Oscar Wilde said …” and “Did you know that Oscar Wilde …?”
  2. You’re on first-name terms with Wilde’s circle: Bosie, Robbie, Sphinx, Constance, Reggie, etc. Conversely, you have the 9th Marquess of Queensberry’s face on a dart board.
  3. No matter how many books are published about Oscar Wilde, his works, peers, lovers, enemies, etc., you must read them.
  4. You go over and over Wilde conundrums. Why didn’t he flee? How much did Constance know? Did he marry Constance for money and respectability, or for love? What happened to the portrait Ricketts painted of Mr WH? What might Wilde have written if he hadn’t died so prematurely?
  5. You want to read everything that Wilde read (hello, Thomas Wright).
  6. Tite Street, Chelsea; Magdalen College, Oxford; Père Lachaise and L’Hôtel, Paris are holy places of pilgrimage for you.
  7. You’re not just reading Wilde’s works, you’re travelling through Mayfair, St James’s and Soho carrying a yellow book, smoking gold-tipped cigarettes and wearing a green carnation.

© JD Ellevsen 2015

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