Some recent pieces of Wilde news. The cover above is for a new edition of Teleny and Camille, Jon Macy‘s comic strip adaptation of the erotic novel attributed to Oscar Wilde and members of his Uranian circle:
Teleny is the haunted musical genius that everyone desires but no one has truly touched… until the fateful night that he senses Camille’s presence in the audience. The wealthy young man is instantly seduced by Teleny’s dark beauty and smoldering melancholy. This groundbreaking and powerful early gay novel, written in secret by Oscar Wilde and his anonymous circle of writers, is now re-interpreted as a graphic novel, in all its lush, pansexual excess.
I wrote something about the novel last year. I’m not convinced that Wilde penned the whole thing but I can see places where he may have contributed. There’s a marvellous scene in an all-white room, for example, which seems inspired by the obsessive decor in Des Esseintes’ house from À rebours, the novel which had a great influence on Dorian Gray (both book and character). I’d been intending on writing something substantial about Macy’s adaptation all summer but failed dismally due to a deluge of deadlines. Suffice to say it’s a very accomplished and (most important) erotic work, doing full justice to a story that makes many later erotic novels seem timid and evasive. The drawings are black-and-white throughout which gives a Beardsley-like quality in places, and Macy conveys a period feel without fretting over details as I’m afraid I’d be tempted to do. Northwest Press have published the new edition and have a selection of reviews here.
For the other Wildeana, Lambda Literary had a review of a new book by Matthew Hofer and Gary Scharnhorst, Oscar Wilde in America: The Interviews which sounds like another essential purchase. And the Independent had this story about a sale of Wilde letters which included one to a magazine editor that may be read as a proposition. Readers of Neil McKenna’s The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde will be familiar with the form and know that there’s no “maybe” about it; Priapus was calling.