I have only recently finished reading the Gothic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, by the Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. I loved the book so visiting his memorial sculpture in Merrion Square in Dublin, Ireland was quite exciting. Oscar Wilde was born in 1854 at no. 1 Merrion Square – just across the road from where we were standing.
The monument is a three-part sculpture which references Oscar Wilde’s life. A colourful Oscar Wilde sits on a large 40 ton quartz boulder. They say this colourful sculpture of Oscar Wilde represents the colourful man he was in life. Across from him on one side is his pregnant wife, Constance, and on the other, the torso of a young Dionysus, God of youth, wine, poetry and theatre. Dionysus was an inspiration to Oscar, he even had a small statue of Dionysus on his writing desk. They even went a step further, showing Oscar’s love of all things Greek, by making Dionysus and Constance out of bronze.
The stone pillars are covered in quotations from Wilde’s writing, setting out his thoughts, opinions and witticisms on art and life. Some of the etchings are copied from the personal handwriting of famous Irish people including the poet Seamus Heaney and President Michael D. Higgins.
I have definitely been inspired to read some more of his books. Which Oscar Wilde book would you recommend?