Oscar Wilde’s ‘A Kiss No More’ – A Tomb Protected from Smooches

Justin Howard, Jim Morrison, Paris, Dublin, Pere LaChaise, Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde's 'A Kiss No More' - A Tomb Protected from Smooches

Oscar Wilde, a look at his life

In his lifetime Oscar Wilde was known internationally as being dapper individual, and a ‘Man’s Man’ in every sense of the word. The author of such litarary masterpieces as ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey‘ was brought low by his quest for revenge against the father of hislover Lord Alfred Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry.

The quest for revenge lead to his own infamous trail of gross indeceny with other men. He served two years of hard labour out of which he came a changed man. To those that know him at the height of his career when his play ‘The Importance of Being Earnest‘ was on stage in London in 1985, he was a sparkling presence of intelluctal wit which earned him the friendship of such powers-that-be like the then Prince of Wales.

After his imprisonment, he became a dark and gloomly enimga which haunted the streets ofParis, the city he had voluntarily exiled himself to from England and Ireland.

The end of his life is best seen in the work he wrote during his time in prison – ‘De Profundis’a story written in letter form that details his spiritual journey during his trail, a road that from the heights of the worldly pleasure he had known to the dark place he had inhabited at the end.

The Tomb

Since the 90’s Men and Women have been leaving lipstick kisses on his tomb in the famous cemtery of Paris, La Pere Lachaise. A gentle and permanent tribute to author who did not care much for women in his life, yet whole heartedly threw himself in the arms of men.

Oscar Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland says “The lipstick has become a ‘serious problem’ because the grease sinks into the stone. Every cleaning was causing a bite more stone to wear way.

“No ammount of appeals to the public did any good at all. Kissing Oscar’s tomb is on the Paris tourist circuit and has become a bit a cult pastime, now proving impossible to break. Even if one could catch someone ‘inflagrante delicto’ – there is a $13,500 fine – most perpetrators are tourists, so they would be home before the French authorities could bring them to court.”

“The tomb is close to being irreparably damaged. Each cleaning has rendered the stome more porous, equalling the need for a more drastic cleaning.”

The Response

The cities of Paris and Dublin have come together to preseverse the memorial which opens again to the public this week. It will be enclosed within a glass barrier “which will surround it to prevent the kissers from further damaging it.” The tomb is now cleaned of the infamous kisses.

Random Fact

To safity your curiousity, yes this is the cemtery where Jim Morrison is buried. Don’t fear his tomb is still open to all those who would kiss him even in death.


Justin Howard

Justin Travis Howard has traveled the world and loves diving into local night life where ever he happens to wander. His insights are designed to promote the hidden byways of Modern Culture.

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