ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Private Pleasures

The working ways of literary geniuses reveal a world of quirky fetishes and strange habits that transcend imaginary borders to produce timeless masterpieces.

“Would you like to know the great drama of my life?” Oscar Wilde once famously addressed an annoying interlocutor. “I’ve put my genius into my life, I’ve put only my talent into my work.”

It is truly intriguing to examine the uniquely personal ways some of the most famous writers in history informed the ritual of their craft. Wilde reportedly carried a notebook wherever he went and many of his smart one-liners and witticisms can be attributed to the collections he filtered from the conversations around him. Wilde was by no means the only writer to travel while scribbling about what he heard and saw around him. His near-contemporary and fellow Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, often found himself travelling aimlessly in the buses of London, usually with a ticket to the last stop. The first draft of Shaw’s play Arms and the Man was apparently completed during the many bus rides he took during the period of its composition.

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