we need fairytales: Jeanette Winterson on Oscar Wilde”
Wilde′s magical stories for children have often been dismissed as lesser works,
but as examples of how important imagination is to us all---young and old
alike---they are a delight
The work Wilde is remembered for was written
over a period of less than 10 years. The
Happy Prince and Other Tales was published in 1888. That volume marks the
beginning of Wilde′s true creativity. He had lectured extensively in the US---but that
would not have won him any lasting legacy, any more than his journalism or his
poems. He had published a great many poems, but Wilde was a bad poet---he
rarely found the right words and he was old-fashioned. Read him next to Emily
Dickinson, Walt Whitman or WB Yeats, and you will see for yourself. We don′t
read his poetry now---it is dated and dead; too much Aready and Hellenic Hours.
The early plays suffer from the same verbal excess. Wilde at his worst wrote in
purple. At his best he is dazzling.
The birth of his children
seems to have regenerated Wilde as a writer. The tedious Hellenism vanished. The
purple–isms faded. There are still overwritten images---Dawn′s grey fingers
clutching at the stars---and he never gives up his fondness for a biblical
moment, usually appearing as precious stones or pronouns (thee and thy), but
his style did change. The writing became freer and sharper, and also more
self-reflective, without being self-absorbed.
為人父之后他的作家身份似乎也得以重生。那些乏味的古文化消逝了并且那種憂郁之氣也漸漸淡去，他的作品里雖還有反復的言語（如“黎明灰色的手指正在摘取星星 ”），并且他從未放棄對圣經文體的喜愛，在其作品中常常會遇到圣經里出現的詞語，像“寶石”或一些代名詞（如thee, thy），但他的文風確實變了。他的行文更加自如，并能夠言其要害。此外，他的作品有了跟多的自我折射的內容，但沒有自戀之嫌。