Acting Wilde: Victorian Sexuality, Theatre, and Oscar Wilde

Acting Wilde: Victorian Sexuality, Theatre, and Oscar Wilde

By: Kerry Powell (author)Hardback

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'I love acting - it is so much more real than life,' Oscar Wilde famously wrote. Acting Wilde demonstrates that Wilde's plays, fiction, and critical theory are organised by the idea that all so-called 'reality' is a mode of performance, and that the 'meanings' of life are really the scripted elements of a dramatic spectacle. Wilde's real issue was whether one could become the author of his own script, the creator of the character and role he inhabits. It was a question he struggled to answer from the beginning of his career to the end, whether in his position as the pre-eminent dramatist in English or as the beleaguered defendant on trial for 'gross indecency'. Introducing important evidence from Wilde's career-launching tour of America, the often tortured revisions of his plays, and the recently discovered written record of his first courtroom trial, this book reconstructs Wilde's strategic dramatising of himself.

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About Author

Kerry Powell is Professor and Chair of English at Miami University.


Introduction: Acting Wilde; 1. Posing and dis-posing: Oscar Wilde in America and beyond; 2. Pure Wilde: feminism and masculinity in Lady Windermere's Fan, Salome, and A Woman of No Importance; 3. Performance anxiety in An Ideal Husband; 4. Performativity and history: The Importance of Being Earnest; 5. The 'lost' transcript, sexual acting, and the meaning of Wilde's trials; 6. Prison performativity; Epilogue: Wilde and modern drama; Bibliography of manuscripts and printed sources.

Product Details

  • publication date: 15/10/2009
  • ISBN13: 9780521516921
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 216
  • ID: 9780521516921
  • weight: 490
  • ISBN10: 0521516927

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