Short Stories: The Devoted Friend by Oscar Wilde

I received Mr. Wilde’s book last Wednesday, and I thank you very much for sending me the copy. It is a wonderful book—the best poor Oscar ever wrote. . . . The morning after the book came, I made a pilgrimage in his memory—going first to St. Germain de Prés . . . where the requiem mass was held over his remains. I knelt in the same place & was with his soul in spirit—then I sought the Rue des Beaux-Arts & went to the house where he died—all this gave me some consolation . . . for I was possessed by a might of sadness over his sorrows & suffering.

Figures 9 and 10: Epstein’s Tomb of Oscar Wilde, April 2011 (photographs by the author)

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 , or , and you will see for yourself. We don't read his poetry now – it is dated and dead; too much Arcady 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 Devoted Friend Sumarry Essay - 399 Words

Figures 11 and 12: Epstein’s Tomb of Oscar Wilde after cleaning and installation of glass panels, March 2012 (photographs by the author)

The friendship is not good on the inside, but to outsiders, and even Hans, it seems like a perfectly healthy relationship (Wilde, "The Devoted Friend").


What is the summary of The Devoted Friend By Oscar Wilde

Indifference to gift and sacrifice is a theme of these fairy stories. In "The Birthday of the Infanta", the haughty princess humiliates the Dwarf who loves her. In "The Devoted Friend", a selfish Miller befriends Little Hans, a simple soul who tends his garden. The Miller likes making speeches about friendship, and never tires of telling Little Hans that the fruit and flowers he takes from the garden every day are only tokens of friendship. "At present you have only the practice of friendship; some day you will have the theory also." The Miller never gives anything in return, and when he has taken all there is, and Little Hans is dead of cold, hunger and exhaustion, the Miller thinks how selfish it is of Little Hans to die – not the kind of thing a friend would do at all.

The Devoted Friend - Wilde Stories

When Wilde was out of prison and living on £3 a week, Douglas, who had sponged off Wilde for years, inherited £20,000. He refused to settle any money on Wilde. It was the painter Whistler, though, who was the model for the selfish Miller. Whistler was a sarcastic, self-interested friend whom Wilde ridiculed in his story "The Remarkable Rocket". In this tale about a batch of fireworks destined for a royal wedding, the Rocket assumes he is the star of the show: "The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else." Whistler was uncomfortable with Wilde's success and gradually became more vicious towards him. As Queensberry closed in, Whistler abandoned Wilde. Later, when Wilde was released and struggling to write, Whistler suggested he try writing "The Bugger's Opera". But as Wilde noted, Whistler always spelt Art with a capital I.

The Devoted Friend (Prose) - Questions Answers - English …

Wilde became not just a famous wit or even an aesthetic icon, but also a martyr of sorts. The public fascination with Oscar Wilde shows no sign of abating. And if you don’t know why, you had best go read his works right away.