Tuesday, December 22

mid-sentence but not mid-century

one-hundred and nine years ago, on what would, eighty-nine years later, become my littlest sister's date of birth, a man named Oscar Wilde died.

when pressed to name a favourite book, I'll usually name his first (and possibly only) novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. exactly why it is so fascinating to me I'm not really sure, but it impressed me very much the first time I read it.

last week, on my way through the library, I came across a blue-and-pink book titled Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile. it's the third in a series (but actually takes place before the other two, chronologically) by an apparently quite well-rounded British politician, Gyles Brandreth. it contains not only this infamous and insufferably witty Irish poet as a main character--it has him wandering about museums with none other than Arthur Conan Doyle.

I think I must return to the library and track down the first two of these Oscar Wilde murder mysteries.

I wonder if it's the time period that I love so much.

or maybe it's the trouble these writers go to for the sake of verisimilitude. they give us these stories, but not just as stories--they become histories, handed down by faithful and trusted biographers. Dr. Watson. Robert Sherard. in the second case, we at least have a real person, and his alleged writings concerning another very real person. but it was a whole hundred years ago. Dr. Watson could've been real, couldn't he have?

whatever is real and whatever isn't, the stories are wonderful. the characters, whoever they may have been based on, are eternally captivating. to think of them there at the turn of that faraway century, having their tea and reading their telegrams... it's just so awesome.

{ sketch by the great Victorian illustrator, Sidney Paget }

and speaking of things I love, I noticed randomly that today all the featured stuff on the etsy front page is plaid. this is the coolest.

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