There are plenty of things about the modern age that would make even the most forward-thinking dead folks roll in their graves. A pointless and fun game is making educated guesses about who would have been down with what: Orwell, for example, would presumably have found the iPad perfect for all of his journalistic exploits, while George Bernard Shaw might have put out a pissy WSJ tirade against all manner of E-Readers. But part of living in a new, technologically advanced, memory-obsessed age is exalting the simpler times.
Which is why we like to protect our dead demigods. The most recent example of this comes with the newly built glass casing of Oscar Wilde‘s tomb, the infamous Epstein monument in Perè Lachaise Cemetery, which has, over the years, been completely taken over by the gaudiest shades of lipstick. But who can blame visitors of the tomb for showering it with love? Who’s in it notwithstanding, the monument itself is incredibly sexy. So sexy, in fact, that one visitor was moved to steal its genitals. Today, on the 111th anniversary of the poet’s death, the tomb will be unveiled, now restored to protect against the ‘graffiti’ kisses that have proved deleterious to the stone. A smart move, or a prudish one? There’s sometimes a tightrope-fine line between shows of love and disrespect. In any case, it’s one that Wilde himself often walked.