January 2nd, 2021

Snow Of A Sort Plus Oscar Wilde

I was outside, filling the horses's water butts before the tap froze up again, and a little snow began to fall. It wasn't proper snow- more like a a misty drizzle that had got itself frozen on its way down- and it soon stopped and never settled. Proper snow is still being forecast.

Maybe next week.

My i-player movie for yesterday evening was Rupert Everett's The Happy Prince. It made me tear up- because I love Oscar Wilde in spite of not caring overmuch for his writing. Other movies- featuring Peter Finch as a manly Oscar and Stephen Fry as a helpless one- have concentrated on his fall; Everett gives us the years of delusion and deliquescence that came afterwards, when he drifted and sponged and the talent flickered on and off- until it ended in a struggle with the horrid wallpaper of his Paris apartment- which the wallpaper won. Everett's Oscar is charming and kind and impossible and appalling- and (I say this having read a good deal about the man- but God only knows why)- as close to the unknowable original as we're ever likely to get. Oscar lived his extraordinary life so that we wouldn't have to- and the parallels- which he encouraged- with Jesus Christ aren't entirely wide of the mark. One man died on the cross, the other- in this version anyway- died after falling from a table in Beatrice Dalle's cabaret after singing a music hall song for his supper. The world humiliated them and they transcended the humiliation. The song, by the way, was "The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery"- one of those happy-sad little numbers that bites and won't let go- and I've got it running though my head right now- on a loop.