Wilde: about the man

He, famously, had nothing to declare except his genius. And, to judge by the new crop of plays and films, neither have we. But exactly which Oscar are we going Wilde about: the flamboyant bisexual or the subversive aesthete?

Books: Ireland comes to Cheltenham

Irish writing makes up one glittering strand of this year's Cheltenham Festival of Literature, in association with The Independent, which runs from 10 to 19 October. Exactly 100 years after W B Yeats and Lady Gregory launched an Irish National Theatre (and after Oscar Wilde left Reading jail), the literature of Ireland flourishes in new forms that reflect a young, culture as well as the country's rich heritage.

The price of everything and the value of nothing

FROZEN DESIRE: An Inquiry into the Meaning of Money by James Buchan, Picador pounds 17.99 THE REAL MEANING OF MONEY by Dorothy Rowe, HarperC ollins pounds 20

`It's the sound of rap growing up, gaining wisdom without losing too much attitude'

ANDY GILL ON ALBUMS; Coolio My Soul Tommy Boy TBCD 1180

Cycling actor hurt in `road-rage' fracas

Martin Shaw, the actor, is considering taking legal action against a bus driver he claims assaulted him in a road-rage style attack.

Man and superbore

Is the `universal genius' worth reviving? Not bloody likely, argues John Campbell: Bernard Shaw: the one-volume definitive edition by Michael Holroyd, Chatto & Windus, pounds 25

Some old fruits and a nutcase

Richard Davenport-Hines backs party people against the puritans puritansreports on a very British battle betwen jh jkh k; Wilde's Last Stand: decadence, conspiracy and the First World War by Philip Hoare, Duckworth, pounds 16.95

Posing to catch the best light, our hero smirks: `Grab her and go. And don't be gentle on my account'

Thought for the day: inside every heterosexual male there's an evil, hair-pulling, face-scratching, rumour-mongering, name-calling, six-teated cow scheming to get out.

Shop till you drop

Gay activism used to be about civil liberties; now, argues Roger Clarke, conspicuous consumption rules

Fry tells of his lowest moment

The actor and writer Stephen Fry is to disclose how he came within a second of turning on his car ignition and trying to kill himself with exhaust fumes. The admission comes during an interview for BBC Radio 4's In The Psychiatrist's Chair, to be broadcast next Sunday.

Radio: Noble courage of taking Desert Island risks

Some years ago, Susan Hill appeared on Desert Island Discs (R4). As the programme was about to end, she sighed with real regret. Her life had lost its direction: her one burning ambition was achieved. What had she left to aspire to now? (In fact, she was invited back later, but that's beside the point.)

Oscar Wilde was like Christ in his suffering, says Stephen Fry

Oscar Wilde, the poet and playwright sentenced to two years' hard labour for sodomy, was a Christ-like figure, according to Stephen Fry, the actor who plays him in a new film.

Obituary: Eric Barton

Eric Barton was perhaps the last upholder of a once-ingrained tradition in the antiquarian bookselling fraternity, that of customer intimidation. Nobody better practised this age-long observance, poised on the knife-edge of querulousness and effrontery, of barring, by hook or by crook, any prospective browser from entering his shop. "We are closed, sir, closed," Barton would call out from his desk as the door was pushed open. "I am here only on urgent and personal business. I must ask you to leave at once."

The importance of being honest

A questionnaire completed and signed by the homosexual playwright Oscar Wilde in his student days, in which he claimed vanity, conceit and self- esteem as the traits he most detested in men and women, fetched pounds 23,000 yesterday, ten times its estimated value, when a mystery telephone bidder bought the handwritten manuscript at Christie's in London.

Wilde at heart

VISUAL ARTS: Maggi Hambling; National Portrait Gallery, London
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