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By Hérondas, texte étabili par J. Arbuthnot Nairn

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Of his intellectual or emotional life, history knows nothing. ’18 For in Dublin maintaining one’s reputation depends on one’s performance and one’s performance depends on keeping history at bay – to rewrite if not erase it completely from any public discourse. It is a formula inscribed into every one of his comedies: if the Woman with a Past is to survive socially, history must be set aside. As ‘a mask with a manner’, the dandy alone understands this. 19 22 Jerusha McCormack Always alert to these issues, a true Dubliner learns early to construct himself as a performer.

In Dublin being witty is not an affectation; it is a social obligation. Here wit is serious and often pointed, if usually lacking the savagery of a Jonathan Swift. 4 Later, the verbal duels of Algernon and Jack, of Gwendolen and Cecily or, most famously, of Jack and Lady Bracknell – would give tribute to lessons well learned. Wilde’s education began early. 6 These came not to eat or to drink tea – but to talk. Wilde’s Dublin; Dublin’s Wilde 19 That is still the main form of social interaction in Dublin.

Editors usually put a [sic] after that ‘somdomite’, assuming that the ‘m’ was added to sodomite in error, but perhaps Queensbury knew exactly what he was doing. Perhaps he was suggesting that Wilde was too slippery to pose even as a regular ‘sodomite’ but was a completely unique, perverse creature, the ‘somdomite’. Perhaps. Today I feel content to accept that Wilde fits no single narrative. His life is just one of the many narratives that he generated. We cluster them together for convenience’s sake under the name ‘Oscar Wilde’.

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