Travel Tuesday // Kisses for Oscar

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
So, I've done some thinking about the format of the Tuesday Travel posts and I've done a little revamping.  So bear with me as I test it out!

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray


TT - 1.22.13

Where was this photo taken?
This picture was taken on a rainy day in a cemetery in Paris, France.  I know that sounds bizarre, but one of the most touristy things to do when visiting a famous historical city is to see where famous people are buried.  The cemetery I was in is called Père Lachaise Cemetery and is the final resting place to hundreds of incredible people.  When I was there I saw the graves of everyone from Gertrude Stein  to Ingres and even Jim Morrison!  The grave I am kissing (that has already been kissed many times) is the grave of none other than Oscar Wilde.

Who were you with?
I was in Paris for my Spring Break during my semester abroad.  My home base then was in Rome, but I had always dreamed of going to Paris and luckily I had two friends studying there (M and H) so I got to explore some on my own (while they were in classes) and get the true Parisian experience as well.  It was great to see both sides - tourist and resident.  M snapped a whole series of photos of the process of me kissing the grave from start to finish.

TT - 1.22.13 - 1

TT - 1.22.13 - 2

Why was this moment so important to capture?
Kissing Oscar Wilde's grave has always been a dream of mine.  The tradition of kissing started when the grave was declared a historical site to protect it from graffiti, so fans opted instead to kiss the grave of the man who inspired us to think and be no one but ourselves.  I adore Wilde's writings and I never get tired of seeing The Importance of Being Earnest.  I've just read that the grave was actually closed off from the public and surrounded by a huge glass partition to prevent visitors from kissing the grave.  Apparently the oils and from all of the lipstick were slowly deteriorating the tombstone.  I know it is a controversial subject, but I think that the kisses, while still a type of graffitti, are attempting to show a man, decades later, that he is still incredibly relevant and important in people's lives.  I think he would have loved the devotion and especially the tizzy it puts all of the officials in.

You can read an article from the New York Times about it here.
4 comments on "Travel Tuesday // Kisses for Oscar"
  1. Personally I think blocking fans from kissing the tomb is pretty bogus, as it's such a unique and charming way to pay tribute, and it only increases the allure of the cemetery in general, which is a good thing for the city. Likewise, I think the "lovers' locks" attached to the Pont des Arts is more of an addition to the landscape than a defacing of it, but unfortunately not everyone agrees.

    Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great point! I'm so glad that someone else shares my opinion. I'm glad to have had the chance to kiss the grave and to have smart enough friends to snap pictures of it!

    Just checked out your blog and it looks like you're having fun with the winter wonderland that Paris is right now. Lovely!

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  3. [...] Travel Tuesday: Kisses for Oscar (equalpartsofawhole.wordpress.com) [...]

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  4. [...] Travel Tuesday: Kisses for Oscar (equalpartsofawhole.wordpress.com) [...]

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