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16 Oct

The Only Thing Worse Than Being Talked About…

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Statue of Oscar Wilde, Merrion Sq, Dublin © Eoin Gardiner on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Statue of Oscar Wilde, Merrion Sq, Dublin
© Eoin Gardiner on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

…is not being talked about. Here is a roundup of links for Oscar Wilde’s 160th birthday.

With the release of a new play The Trials of Oscar Wilde the Independent asked Is Oscar Wilde’s reputation due for another reassessment? One of the authors is Merlin Holland, Wilde’s only grandchild.

An Oscar Wilde photograph from Ashford Castle is to go to auction, while a photograph of Harry Bushell, who may be been the fellow prisoner Wilde mentioned in letters, has been in the papers today. The photograph is just one item turned up by Prof Peter Stoneley, University of Reading, which will form part of a new exhibition, Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol.

A new book, Wilde in America: Oscar Wilde and the Invention of Modern Celebrity by David. M Friedman proposes Wilde’s American fame as the start of celebrity culture. He credits Wilde’s mother, Lady Jane Wilde (who wrote under the name Speranza) with the insight that the self is a self-creation, that “epigrams are always better than argument” and “paradox is the very essence of social wit.” The idea that the self is a performance relates clearly to Wilde’s early ideas.

More philosophically, Oxford University have a new lecture series on Oscar Wilde, his life, his works and his philosophy available on podcast. The five lectures are delivered by Dr Sos Eltis, lecturer in English.

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