Oscar Wilde's Tomb?
June 19, 2005 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Recently, I visited the cemetery in which Oscar Wilde is buried, and for some reason, his tomb was covered with lipstick kisses. Does anyone have any idea why this is? The most I've been able to discover on the subject is that people do leave kisses, but no explanation as to why...
posted by almostbarefoot to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
It's my understanding that people simply leave them as a sign of their admiration for Wilde. Wilde's grandson, who is not a big fan of those who kiss the tomb, had a few ideas on the subject.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:49 PM on June 19, 2005

I apologize for going a bit off-topic, but I recently read that the tomb of Victor Noir was closed to the public due to concerns about the wear and tear inflicted on the tomb by visitors. It appears that the effigy on the tomb has a "distinct enlargement in the groin region," and female visitors rub this protrusion in hopes it will enhance their fertility.
posted by SPrintF at 10:27 PM on June 19, 2005

James Dean's is, too.
posted by brujita at 10:37 PM on June 19, 2005

Self-link: Oscar Wilde's Tomb

Two photos, one of the whole grave site, the other of the assy kiss marks which deface and harm the stone.

I find it especially weird to have such marks on the tomb of a gay icon. I researched it a bit, and they are alleged to be left by women. How weird is that?
posted by Goofyy at 4:13 AM on June 20, 2005

Speaking of Victor Noir....
posted by IndigoJones at 4:20 AM on June 20, 2005

Goofyy, you didn't shoot the famous epitaph? I love this.

"And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long, broken urn.
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn."

I like to think the kisses are from outcast men.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:32 AM on June 20, 2005

At least these prints are only mouth prints. It could be worse. But it would be better if it were cognac and roses.

People do such things out of admiration. Oscar probably wouldn't mind the kisses at all, as long as they didn't obscure his name.

But you say you visited recently and the stone was covered with lipstick? I guess the fence isn't working.
posted by pracowity at 5:21 AM on June 20, 2005

Celebrity tombs at Père Lachaise get into all kinds of trouble. The graffiti pointing the way to Jim Morrison is endemic, for example.
posted by mcwetboy at 7:19 AM on June 20, 2005

while there may be a more specific reason, this question strikes me as odd, like asking why people leave flowers on graves. Flowers are a respectful, solemn sort of offering, while lipstick kisses are more playful and sexy, but that is completely fitting for oscar wilde. I hadn't known this before, but reading it did not surprise me at all.

Again, there may be some history or moment when this began, but at its most basic level, it just seems like a good way to leave a mark of admiration or love that has connotations in tune with the personality of oscar wilde.

and now I have 'meet you at the cemetery gates, keats & yeats are on your side..." stuck in my head.
posted by mdn at 8:33 AM on June 20, 2005

A quick Google search for "wilde grave kisses" found this story
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:42 PM on June 20, 2005

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