5E: Oscar Wilde

Today in this post I’m going to introduce you to this brilliant Irish ūüėČ writer Oscar Wilde¬†who, when in 1882¬†he arrived in the U.S.A. in New York at Custom Controls said “I have nothing to declare but my genius”.

  • SESSION ONE: Biography & The Picture of Dorian Gray ( to be done ¬†by Wednesday 13th November. TIME LENGTH OF VIDEOS 15 m’ + readings & comments)¬†

STEP 1)  Watch this short amateur-video on his Biography & take down some notes.  Read his biography in your textbook page 266/7 and integrate that text with the new info you got in the video.

STEP 2) As regards his life and his relationship with A.Bosie that ended up with him being arrested and sentenced to two years’ hard labour (lavori forzati) watch¬† the scene of¬†Wilde‚Äôs famous monologue¬†on ‚Äúlove that dare not speak its name‚ÄĚduring the trial, taken from the¬†movie¬†Wilde¬†(1997) starring Stephen Frye.

“The Love that dare not speak its name in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as the “Love that dare not speak its name,” and on account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory (alla gogna) for it.”

STEP 3) The third video is a collection of some of his famous aphorisms. Watch them and choose the one you like best. Be ready to tell the rest of the class why you like it.

Step 4 )Most of you have already read his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray¬†and ¬†next Monday¬†we’re going to see its theatrical version by Palchetto Stage.¬†(Check link)

Watch¬†three different trailer versions of the movie¬†and choose the one you like best motivating your choice by comparing it to the novel you’ve read.

1945 Adaptation: Directed by Albert Lewin; screenplay by Albert Lewin.

2004 adaptation Directed by David Rosenbaum; screenplay by David Rosenbaum. Starring Josh Duhamel as Dorian Gray.

2009 adaptation Directed by Oliver Parker; screenplay by Toby FinlayStarring Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray; Ben Chaplin as Basil Hallward; Colin Firth as Henry Wotton.

Last but not least here’s the whole NOVEL as electronic text

ASSIGNMENT: Print the last Chapter 20 & bring it to class.

Should you want to know more about the themes of the novel have a look at Spark Notes.

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SESSION TWO ( By Wednesday 20th November)

Step 1) watch the  VIDEO ON THE BALLAD OF THE READING GAOL from the italian program Cult Book. E’ in italiano preso dal programma Cult Book, molto interessante anche nelle parole del critico letterario e traduttore Masolino D’Amico. Cos’hanno in comune le scene dei film scelte durante il video? Possiamo considerare la ballata come un inno contro la pena di morte? We’ll read and discuss the Ballad in class.

Here’s a version of the ballad by GAVIN FRIDAY, released in 1989 and is the debut album following his exit from the Virgin Prunes. They made the history of rock music.

In case you‚Äôd forgotten it, Oscar Wilde also wrote that beautiful classic tale of¬†The Happy Prince. Extremely difficult to find, very rarely repeated on TV and yet so wonderful – it’ll stay with you forever. Sit back and enjoy listening to this wonderful story !

Did you know that Al Pacino made a movie on Wilde’s¬†Salom√®?¬†In this short video you can see Wilde’s home in Dublin. Should you ever go there you can visit it once a week, I guess on Wednesday.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you feel like leave a comment ūüôā

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