Monday 18 March 2019

Oscar Wilde was a pederast

For decades, Woody Allen was immune to almost any and all accusations against him because of Annie Hall. He was even forgiven for every film since. But at present his own genius opt-out appears to be up for reconsideration because of fresh claims about long-ago aspects of his private life. It is a familiar problem. At various times in recent decades, Oscar Wilde’s reputation has again teetered on a ledge for similar reasons. Today, when anybody mentions the rent boys and their age, defenders of Wilde understandably stress their counter-arguments. In truth, it has simply become recognised that we cannot do without the greatest comedies in the English language. So small evasions are permitted.

But it is a messy moral business. Until John Bridcut settled the matter a decade ago, Benjamin Britten seemed always to be at risk of a Michael Jackson-like fall. In fact, his own relationships with children turn out never to have crossed over any physical line. But there was definitely a sense of near-terror around the subject for many years.

Douglas Murray in today's Unherd. He goes on to discuss Eric Gill, whose stations of the cross in Westminster Cathedral are so beautiful despite his horrible behaviour, and Michael Jackson, whom the BBC has now decided not to play. I cannot see why they should do that. Verlaine, as Charles Moore pointed out recently, is still read, though a self-declared pederast (a homosexual who interferes with boys). Laurence Durrell's daughter said he raped her in her suicide note. 

William Mayne, the children's writer, seduced or raped under age girls and was sent down for it. I remember a woman writer I knew saying she could never read him again, after knowing that, and asking if that were a reasonable reaction.

Then there is Plato - and all the Greeks. The ancient Greeks, I mean.

I am pleased that I am not the only one who noticed that Wilde was a pederast. I wrote about this here and here.

We do seem keen in our culture on banning things or stigmatising them, more than the Victorians even though we tend not to ban and stigmatise the same things as the Victorians. Though on pederasty modern thinkers and Victorian propriety are in agreement. 

1 comment:

  1. Sixty-three percent of the rapidly rising total number of suicides in the US in 2017 were white, non-Hispanic males, who only make up 30 percent of the nation’s population. 2017 also saw over 72,000 fatal drug overdoses, a rate over 16 times higher than in the 1970s (when drugs were already considered an epidemic) and a significantly heightened number of deaths due to alcoholism, both of which are also concentrated among white males, comparable only to American Indian men in their combined likelihood of drug, alcohol, or suicide deaths.

    ...One wonders whether white men, like American and Canadian Indians before them, find themselves lacking in both self-continuity and cultural continuity. In the words of Michel Houllebecq, speaking broadly of Western decline to the Paris Review a few years ago, “The disappearance of patrimonial transmission means that an old guy today is just a useless ruin. The thing we value most of all is youth, which means that life automatically becomes depressing, because life consists, on the whole, of getting old.”

    Jeremy Larson March 18, 2019

    "When we say... that pleasure is the end and aim, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some through ignorance, prejudice or wilful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. It is not by an unbroken succession of drinking bouts and of revelry, not by sexual lust, nor the enjoyment of fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul. Of this the beginning and the greatest good is wisdom. Therefore wisdom is a more precious thing that even philosophy; from it springs all the other virtues, for it teaches that we cannot live pleasantly without living wisely, honourably and justly; nor live wisely, honourably and justly without living pleasantly."


    Keir Martland: And what is it about tradition that made you a libertarian?
    Sean Gabb: I won't talk about tradition in general. However, the traditional order of England is the raw material from which the whole libertarian tradition has been refined. This is an order of limited government and respect of the individual—of freedom of thought and speech, and due process of law, and respect for private property, and of general equality before the law. If I were a Russian libertarian, I might have to begin by rejecting my entire national history and culture. Because I am an Englishman, I can be a traditionalist—even a reactionary—as well as a libertarian. Indeed, I can be one because I am the other.

    Interview: Sean Gabb and Libertarianism
    by Keir Martland

    The day she goes there'll be claw marks on the steps of Number 10.
    EUBanana • 4 days ago