The Invention of Oscar Wilde

The Invention of Oscar Wilde
Nicholas Frankel
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One should either wear a work or art, or be a work of art' , Wilde once declared. In The Invention of Oscar Wilde, Nicholas Frankel explores Wilde' s self-creation as a ' work of art' and a carefully constructed cultural icon. Frankel takes readers on a journey through Wilde' s inventive, provocative life, from his Irish origins - and their public erasure - through his challenges to traditional concepts of masculinity and male sexuality, to his criminal conviction and final years of exile in France. Along the way, Frankel takes a deep look at Wilde' s writings, paradoxical wit and intellectual convictions, as well as his marriage and affairs with a series of attractive young men, including his great love Lord Alfred Douglas.
' Oscar the man, Oscar the life, Oscar the tragedy, Oscar the standard bearer for art, Irishness, queerness, intellect and wit we all know. But there is Oscar the idea too: the symbol, the representative, the totem, the global icon which looms above the other identities. It is an identity whose construction Wilde himself began, but on which subsequent generations build. There is no one better to unwrap the mystery and challenge of this Oscar than Nicholas Frankel, whose previous work has already established him as one of the world' s foremost Wildeans. This book is such an invaluable and permanent addition to the literature. ' - Stephen Fry
Nicholas Frankel is Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author or editor of many books about Oscar Wilde, including The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated Uncensored Edition.