Wednesday, January 09, 2013

When Oscar Wilde Visited America

The Daily Beast follows in the man's footsteps.

From the story...

Wilde then went off to Philadelphia for a lecture at the Horticultural Hall—he was bored, as so many others along the way were, by the train’s views of New Jersey. He then called on Walt Whitman in Camden, where he drank elderberry wine and milk-punch (“a stoutish mixture of milk and whiskey”), offered praise, and received some admonishment:

When he ventured the starchy observation that he, Wilde, couldn’t bear “to listen to anyone unless he attracts me by a charming style, or by beauty of theme,” the older poet put him in his place. “Why, Oscar,” said Whitman, “it always seems to me that the fellow who makes a dead set at beauty is in a bad way. My idea is that beauty is a result, not an abstraction.” Wilde quickly retreated. “Yes,” he said, “I think so too.”

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