Wildeana 5


Gertrude Hoffmann dressed for her opera role as Salome (1908).

Continuing an occasional series. Some people may be surprised to hear that Al Pacino loves Oscar Wilde’s Salome. He acted in a stage version of the drama in 1992 playing Herod to Sheryl Lee’s Salome (the Godfather versus Laura Palmer), and in 2006 announced an intention to make a drama documentary about the play. He talks about his interest in Wilde’s work here. IMDB currently has a page showing a 2011 release for Wilde Salome by Al Pacino but the film’s release has already been subject to delays. Related: Clive Barker’s Salome from 1973; Derek Jarman meets Hammer Horror.

• A post from last year that I should have linked to a lot earlier: A Wilde Library at Little Augury, being a detailed exploration of Wilde’s Tite Street furnishings and interior decoration.

• Oscar Wilde at Tumblr: Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde and Oscar Wilde Assembly. Then there’s Youth is wasted on the young, a charmingly obsessive Dorian Gray blog.

• Actor Brian Bedford (again) is interviewed by Kevin Sessums about playing Lady Bracknell in a New York production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

What Oscar Wilde could teach us about art criticism by Jed Perl.

Oscar Wilde, classics scholar by Daniel Mendelsohn.

Scarlet letters lift the lid on Wilde’s dalliances.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Oscar Wilde archive

Wildeana 4


I could make these posts a lot more often since there’s seldom a week goes by when Oscar Wilde’s work or something from his life isn’t making the news somewhere. I forget now how I came across the Robert Hichens book but the Beardsley-derived cover design is the best I’ve seen for this title. The Green Carnation was first published in 1894 and is the notorious roman à clef whose lead characters, Esmé Amarinth and Lord Reginald Hastings, are based on Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas. Hichens paints the pair as very obvious inverts with none of the “is he or isn’t he?” subtlety that Wilde managed to sustain in public. For a scandalised London the book seemed to confirm what was already suspected about Wilde and Bosie’s relationship.

The cover art is credited to one John Parsons, an illustrator whose other work, if there is any, eludes the world’s search engines. This edition was published in 1949 by Unicorn Press and it’s something I’m tempted to buy as a companion for my Unicorn Press edition of Dorian Gray.

The following links are to recent articles spotted whilst looking for other things:

Oscar Wilde, Classics Scholar. A review of The Women of Homer by Oscar Wilde, edited by Thomas Wright and Donald Mead.
• A new Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest has actor Brian Bedford playing Lady Bracknell.
Buyers go Wilde for Oscar as short note to his friend sells for €1,500.
Outsmarted: What Oscar Wilde could teach us about art criticism.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Oscar Wilde archive
The book covers archive