Oscar Wilde als Altphilologe und Leser

Die New York Review of Books stellt in ihrer Ausgabe 17/2010 zwei interessante neue Bücher zu Oscar Wilde vor:

Daniel Mendelsohn schrieb eine ausführliche Rezension. Ein Auszug:

He had, after all, shown a remarkable flair for the classics from the start. At the Portora Royal School, where he’d been sent in the autumn of 1864, just before his tenth birthday, he won the classical medal examination with his extempore translations from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (the tragedy he loved above all others) and the Carpenter Prize for his superior performance on the examination on the Greek New Testament. Later, at Trinity College, Dublin, he took a first in his freshman classical exams and went on to win the Berkeley Gold Medal for his paper on a subject that was, perhaps, not without augury: the Fragmenta comicorum graecorum, “Fragments of the Greek Comics,” the great scholarly edition by the early-nineteenth-century German philologue Augustus Meineke. (According to his friend Robert Sherard, he occasionally pawned the medal when he needed money, but managed always to redeem it, keeping it until the end of his life.)

After transferring to Magdalen College, Oxford, in the autumn of 1874, Wilde scored highest marks on his entrance exams, and finished by taking a prestigious double first in “Greats,” the relatively recent, classics-based curriculum officially known as literae humaniores.

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