Swimming Deep in the Yellow Book with an introduction by Oscar Wilde

Hello from the other side of the sometimes mystical and always awkward line between life and death. I know it’s been some time since I’ve published anything, but when Mr. Kline approached me about his project, I saw it as an opportunity not only to dust off my talents, but also to use the new IBM Selectric automatic writing machine I’ve heard so much about. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, Original Wild wasp supplier Indonesia and time constraints forced me into my time-tested writing methods. While my feet might never return to trammel the streets of London, it feels refreshingly good to return my pen to the page.

As I have said before, “the artist is the creator of beautiful things.” I should have added, “The researcher tramples on those beautiful things with the ugly boots of hindsight worn upon the feet of dullards.” This paper is nothing more than a few conjectures without merit, strung together in a dry and witless style. To allege that I was involved in the writings of the “Yellow Book” is outright absurd. I took great pains to distance myself from that publication and you will note that none of the works were my creation. Yes, sports shop I have certainly had a working relationship with Aubrey Beardsley. I invented Aubrey Beardsley! But did not Christ himself have a working relationship with harlots and thieves? Alas, the truth is rarely pure and never simple. Beardsley’s drawings and Kline’s writing taint my words like the naughty scribbles a precocious boy makes on the margins of his copybooks.

Therefore, I ask you not to judge me by this work, but rather, judge the writer by it. The lowest mode of critisicm is, after all, autobiography. If you are truly taken in by Kline’s clumsy attempts at assaulting my character, then perhaps it is a reflection on you, the reader, and your own personal insecurities.

While I wish I had the time to answer to each fraudulent claim and misrepresentation individually, I’m told this must be sent to the publisher before the passing of the full moon. Therefore, bear in mind, I may actually only have skimmed the entire piece, failing to be engaged by any passage at all… and therefore suggest you do the same.

— Oscar Wilde

Sometimes the best way to understand a writer is to write a page in his shoes. We can face the same obstacles, the same characters, and the same passion about art and writing. Writing about literature is never easy; however when I think about the best ways to research a writer, the most obvious is to read his works. Because of shipping delays and backorders, the first words I read about Wilde were not his writings, but his biographies. The more information I found, the more I thought that Wilde’s life is perhaps even more interesting than his literature. It is, however, that literature which has made his life so interesting.

There in a passage in Dorian Gray that introduces a notable object, “a book bound in yellow paper, the cover slightly torn and the edges soiled” (Wilde 95). Even at first mention, the book piqued my curiosity. As my reading progressed, this piece of literature becomes the root of the change of Dorian’s character. I wondered what significance the book had, not just to Dorian, but to Wilde. Did Wilde have a “yellow book” of his own? Is the book yellow with age, or does this color have a deeper symbolism? I had no idea of the depth of information I would find in researching an untitled, osr tattered book.

The beginnings of my research led to some interesting discoveries. Among them, a periodical published quarterly in London in the late 19th century, The Yellow Book. First, let me explain the periodical itself. While its existence was short-lived, it helped propel a “shift in British society away from a homogenised masculine elitism” (Fraser 187). A less favorable description is offered by the Westminster Gazette, that claimed it would take only “a short act of Parliament to make this kind of thing illegal” (qtd. in Bobst 2). The first volume was published in 1894, so I knew it certainly couldn’t be the same book Wilde mentioned three years earlier. But wait! Wilde might have been involved. The Art Editor was Aubrey Beardsley. Beardsley illustrated Wilde’s Salome. Beardsley once even offered to translate Salome, after the translation by Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas failed to win Wilde’s approval (Amphagorey 1). On Valentine’s Day, 1895, Beardsley attended the premiere of Wilde’s play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Even more oddly, when Wilde was arrested later that year, chuguiv the publication of The Yellow Book stopped abruptly. After Wilde’s release from prison more than two years later, both men lived in the same town in the south of France (McGrath 1), where Beardsley lived until his early death at age 25, writing for another controversial publication, The Savoy (Amphagorey 1).


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