Monday, 14 January 2013

A Wilde Evening

I write this locked in the thrall of that rare phenomenon which can only be described as feeling utterly pleased with myself. This abnormal, yet very quite welcome emotion has come as a result of  me finally taking some considerably productive steps towards that previously mentioned task of my inevitably futile entry to the Cambridge University Peterhouse Essay Competion. This emotion does not derive from a belief that I have a cat in hell's chance of being commended for it, let alone winning (my delusion does not stretch that far), but rather that I just wrote a whole lot of nonsense that is probably the beginnings of, and I realise I use this phrase to ludicrous frequency, the best thing I've ever written.

Perhaps one joy of this perilous, youthful  stage of my life is that my writing skills are in such an infancy that every new thing I write, self-indulgent blogs notwithstanding, is probably the best thing I've ever written. Nonetheless, I'm really quite excited about it all, which I feel is probably  mostly thanks to experiencing the great talents of a certain Mr Oscar Wilde. As good as his satirical dramatic creations are, while Dorian Gray signals a slide into beautiful madness, it is his epistle De Profundis that is an utter masterpiece, albeit one that is only recognized as such once it has come under some analysis. In layman's terms, I've just spent the last couple of hours reading and taking sloppy notes on an overblown letter written by some dead bummer, and I feel fucking great about it. But why? I shan't spoil anything by describing the work, as I would recommend you read it yourselves. But it's just really good, and seems to transfer some of its greatness onto the spectator, as all great works of literature should.

Anyway, I shan't go on, as I don't really know what else to say other than the fact that I 'heart' literature, and also because a chance glance of the television as 'What happens in Kavos' is on has reaffirmed my disdain for humanity (it's one of those hideous documentary programmes that chronicle the idiocy of young british tourists getting drunk and being generally awful in European holiday resorts, of which my view has gradually altered from amusement to bemusement). So yes, I don't know, go and read a book or something. And I mean a good book; as snobbish as this sounds; something that is considered a classic. By that I mean Wilde, Orwell, Salinger, Burgess, Tolkien, Bronte, whoever; not Meyer. Take an extract, and try to assess it critically. You might just have a lot of fun doing it. But probably not, I appreciate.


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