By Kerry Powell, Peter Raby
Oscar Wilde used to be a brave individualist whose path-breaking existence and paintings have been formed within the crucible of his time and position, deeply marked through the controversies of his period. This number of concise and illuminating articles finds the complicated courting among Wilde's paintings and ideas and modern contexts together with Victorian feminism, aestheticism and socialism. Chapters examine how Wilde's writing used to be either a resistance to and citation of Victorian grasp narratives and style codes. From functionality historical past to movie and operatic diversifications, the continued impression and reception of Wilde's tale and paintings is explored, providing no longer one yet many Oscar Wildes. To strategy the which means of Wilde as an artist and historic determine, the publication emphasises not just his skill to visualize new worlds, but additionally his bond to the turbulent cultural and historic panorama round him - the context during which his lifestyles and paintings took form.
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Additional info for Oscar Wilde in Context
Of his intellectual or emotional life, history knows nothing. ’18 For in Dublin maintaining one’s reputation depends on one’s performance and one’s performance depends on keeping history at bay – to rewrite if not erase it completely from any public discourse. It is a formula inscribed into every one of his comedies: if the Woman with a Past is to survive socially, history must be set aside. As ‘a mask with a manner’, the dandy alone understands this. 19 22 Jerusha McCormack Always alert to these issues, a true Dubliner learns early to construct himself as a performer.
In Dublin being witty is not an aﬀectation; it is a social obligation. Here wit is serious and often pointed, if usually lacking the savagery of a Jonathan Swift. 4 Later, the verbal duels of Algernon and Jack, of Gwendolen and Cecily or, most famously, of Jack and Lady Bracknell – would give tribute to lessons well learned. Wilde’s education began early. 6 These came not to eat or to drink tea – but to talk. Wilde’s Dublin; Dublin’s Wilde 19 That is still the main form of social interaction in Dublin.
Editors usually put a [sic] after that ‘somdomite’, assuming that the ‘m’ was added to sodomite in error, but perhaps Queensbury knew exactly what he was doing. Perhaps he was suggesting that Wilde was too slippery to pose even as a regular ‘sodomite’ but was a completely unique, perverse creature, the ‘somdomite’. Perhaps. Today I feel content to accept that Wilde ﬁts no single narrative. His life is just one of the many narratives that he generated. We cluster them together for convenience’s sake under the name ‘Oscar Wilde’.