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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 56 | volume X | September-October, 2007



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 56September-October, 2007
Prose

from “The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde”

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p. 1
Peter Ackroyd

19 September 1900

I have become a problem in modern ethics, as Symonds would say, although it seemed to me at the time that I was the solution. Everyone is talking about my particular disposition now for, as usual, I chose the proper dramatic moment to reveal my sexual infamy to the world. Even the Germans have become interested in the subject and, of all the extraordinary things that have happened to me, the most extraordinary may be that I shall be remembered not as an artist but as a case history, a psychological study to be placed beside Onan and Herodias. I might even be mentioned by Edward Carpenter in one of his more suggestive passages. I perfectly understand Carpenter, although he does not seem to understand himself – the consciousness of sin, he has written somewhere, displays a weakness in man. But our real weakness is far more interesting than that: we call activities sinful in order that we may enjoy them all the more fiercely.
    The problem, as always in modern thought, is one of nomenclature. I am not inverted: I was diverted. If I am a Uranian, I spring from that part of the sky where Uranus is touched with the glory of the stars. For I hold male love to be of the highest kind, honoured by the philosophers who have considered it to be the type of ideal love, and by artists who have seen in the male figure the lineaments of spiritual beauty. Modern medicine, like an owl at noon which hoots blindly, so dazzled is it by the light, has invented new terms – but 'healthy' and 'diseased' are quite unsatisfactory as mental categories. Who would not rather be diseased as Leonardo and Winckelmann were, than healthy with Hall Caine and Mrs Cashel Hoey?
    Every great creation involves a rupture of equilibrium, and the finest things in art have come from that fever of the passions which I and others like me have experienced. It was male love which inspired Michaelangelo in his perfect sonnets; it inspired Shakespeare to immortalise a young man in words of fire just as it guided the hands of Plato and of Marlowe.
    When I became a servant of this love, I saw in it both the perfection and the fatality of the complete life. It held for me the innocence of all aspirations towards the beautiful, as well as the






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