21 March 2010

on Hypocrisy: words from Wilde, the son

anyone that is regularly reading little augury knows of my fondness, admiration for Oscar Wilde. I have just finished reading VYVYAN HOLLAND'S , Son of Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan was Wilde's youngest son who for all practical purposes lost the father he loved at the age of 9 years. The memoir is worthwhile for any Wildean.

There are tender passages from a son to his father. Tender words that show Oscar Wilde to be a loving involved father.

These words from Vyvyan towards the end of the book about his father's unjustified arrest and sentencing struck me as apropos of the world we live in and look out on-

The self righteousness...
was really camouflage to disguise its own hypocrisy, 
and the people who were loudest in their condemnation 
of my father were often those whose own lives 
could least bear investigation. 

 Nothing makes the transgressor so indignant as
the transgressions, 
of a different kind, of his fellow-men; except, 
perhaps, transgressions of the same kind. 
Vyvan Holland

these incredible images from Neu Black here , by Helmo here


  1. Do you know about the Clark Library? It's walkable from my house though I've only been once for a lecture by Merlin Holland, the only grandson of Oscar Wilde.



  2. Hi Patricia Gaye-

    I am so impressed with your wonderful post here--so poetic and mysterious and wonderful.

    I am back in action. Please be sure to read back through the last few weeks (especially the fabulous story about Parthenia...gloat, gloat)...and see what you might have missed over the last month. I think you will like.
    cheers, DIANE

  3. Shouldn't we all keep this in mind when our reactions are too raw ?
    Fascinating photos. I wonder how Wilde would have put his genius into his life today.

  4. Growing up in a small southern town gives you the opportunity to know hypocrisy well because the Players are so few. I was so young, I was sitting in my father's lap when the election results came in announcing Oklahoma was no longer a "dry" state. My dad, the Baptist deacon chuckled, and told me he was concerned about the carpenters who would be out of jobs because they no longer had to put in special back doors in liquor stores for the Baptists. It took years to understand his gentle humor about that. I still can't forgive the music director in our church who was a child molester who kept being "born again."

    Just yesterday finished reading Built of Books that you recommended and I wept. All of those no minds who eradicated genius, genius unchecked as he, himself, admitted, but genius just the same. As with all martyrs, they remind us too much how lacking we are.

  5. An amazing posting & an equally amazing response from "home before dark." Thank you both.

  6. Fascinating! Both your post and the comments thus far. You are getting us to "think"!

  7. I'll go along with those sentiments on hypocrisy. Touching stuff.

  8. Beautiful. And the juxtaposition of the images, the beasts that haunt within. I completely agree. It reminds me of a conversation I had this past year, about people being upset when they watch the documentary Stevie. Because they see themselves in this sad character who has done something so awful. It makes some react almost violently with disdain for him.

  9. Truer words have never been spoken I think.

  10. As I came back to read later comments, I felt I should clarify that I was never abused by the monster hypocrite. I think he knew my father without doubt or hesitation would have killed him. Pity one of his victim's fathers didn't.

  11. Scott, thanks for stopping in. just love your work. and I will check into the Clark library's online presence. Gaye

  12. Home, glad you read the book-this is another insight into this aesthete. pgt

  13. it seems that everywhere I look there are extremes of this- are they more obvious because man is evolving so well or is it because we are slipping backward?

  14. more interesting news to me about your admiration for Oscar Wilde, I am such an admirer of his too!OOh I will have to become a follower of your delightful blog......Save me a seat!!


  15. I was recently lucky enough to meet and hear Merlin Holland [Vyvan's son] speak at my university. He is also a Wilde scholar and his talk was very moving. Among other things, he is interested in the ways that Wilde can serve as an example against bigotry and hate. It is so wonderful to see his legacy being maintained and appreciated by his family.

  16. So true, and those images are amazing!

  17. Incandescent words.
    Incredibly appropriate today.



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