Battle of the Wits
In "Spin," House and Wilson are mulling over Mark's recouperations when he enters the cafeteria, Stacy pushing him along in a wheelchair. The annoyed displeasure practically seeps from House's face. Wilson's attempts to downplay the chance meeting do nothing to level out House, who is bent on stirring up sarcasm-laden trouble.
He and Mark exchange some double entendres and snide remarks before Stacy finally cuts in.
Stacy: "My goodness, it's like watching Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward in the third grade!"
That's saying something. Stacy obviously knows her literature. But how well does the comparison hold up?
Oscar Wilde (1854--1900)
He was one of the rare writers who actually gained ridiculous fame while living. In today's world, he'd be like a Stephen King, only a lot less macabre, and an avid entertainer. Maybe Howard Stern is a better comparison. (Though while Wilde was similarly candid and controversial, he was less coarse.) Comparisons are tough in this case. There was only one Oscar Wilde.
At any rate, instead of opening up the pages of "People" and checking out what Ashton Kucher or ahem-ahem Hugh Laurie was doing this past weekend, it would be Oscar Wilde you'd find photos of out on the town, velvet purple coat and all.
Wilde was born in Dublin but moved permanently to England when he left to attend Oxford. Not only did he excel in class, but he carved out a dramatic, flamboyant personality for himself as well. He was known as a life of the party, incredibly witty with a sharp and humorous tongue.
His dabbles in poetry failed to win much of an audience. It was through his well-noted plays (for instance, The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895) and novels (particularly The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1891) that he earned his notoriety.
He was very much involved with the aesthetic movement, which emphasized beauty and attractiveness in one's physical surroundings. Though "Wilde was a moralist, , in a school where Blake, Nietzsche, and even Freud were his fellows," (Oscar Wilde, by Richard Ellmann), he was not concerned with worldly interpretations or condemnations of his actions. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, one of his characters famously quip, "The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. That is all."
Besides that, his lifestyle also gained much attention--infamously. Homosexual in an era that was anything but accepting, he was found guilty of indecent behavior and sentenced to two years in prison, where he stayed until 1897. Unfortunately, his health turned for the worse while incarcerated and he died not long after, some historians suspect of syphilis.
Stay tuned for a review on the life and works of Noel Coward, and a closer look at how House and Mark compare to these two literary geniuses.