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Cosmopolitan Space: Political Topographies in ‘Lord Arthur Savile's Crime’
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2968-4867
2017 (English)In: Victoriographies, ISSN 2044-2416, Vol. 7, no 2, 124-142 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This essay responds to Julian Wolfreys’s suggestion that Oscar Wilde’s London is primarily psycho-geographical by seeking to read his texts within the historical and spatial context of late nineteenth-century London. Taking as a test the short story ‘Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime’, this essay deploys the critical insights of Henri Lefebvre to suggest that Wilde’s city writing engages more closely with London life than has been hitherto suggested. Following Lord Arthur on his three perambulations across the city, from Hyde Park and Piccadilly to Covent Garden, through Soho, and finally from St James’s to the Embankment, the article focuses particularly on the ways in which Wilde’s use of what might easily be assumed to be an incidental location, namely Cleopatra’s Needle, invites us to reread the text’s revolutionary politics within the context of the French Revolution. Concluding with a discussion of Wilde’s treatment of London’s ‘cosmopolitan space’, the essay shows that the way in which seemingly stock imagery deployed in Wilde’s representation of the city may in fact be read as part of a wider and complex engagement with both the politics and the aesthetics of space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 7, no 2, 124-142 p.
Keyword [en]
Oscar Wilde, ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’, The Picture of Dorian Gray, London, cosmopolitanism, aestheticism, city writing
National Category
General Literature Studies Specific Literatures
Research subject
English; Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144163DOI: 10.3366/vic.2017.0267ISI: 000403362200003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144163DiVA: diva2:1108770
Available from: 2017-06-13 Created: 2017-06-13 Last updated: 2017-07-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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