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Oscar Wilde and the Simulacrum: the Truth of Masks
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Oscar Wilde is more than a name, more than an author. From precocious Oxford undergraduate to cause célèbre of the West End of the 1890s, to infamous criminal, the proper name Wilde has become an event in the history of literature and culture. Taking Wilde seriously as a philosopher in his own right, Whiteley’s groundbreaking book places his texts into their philosophical context in order to show how Wilde broke from his peers, and in particular from idealism, and challenges recent neo-historicist readings of Wilde which seem content to limit his irruptive power. Using the paradoxical concept of the simulacrum to resituate Wilde’s work in relation to both his precursors and his contemporaries, Whiteley’s study reads Wilde through Deleuze and postmodern philosophical commentary on the simulacrum. In a series of striking juxtapositions, Whiteley challenges us to rethink both Oscar Wilde’s aesthetics and his philosophy, to take seriously both the man and the mask. His philosophy of masks is revealed to figure a truth of a different kind — the simulacra through which Wilde begins to develop and formulate a mature philosophy that constitutes an ethics of joy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Legenda , 2015. , 356 p.
, Studies in comparative litterature, ISSN 0081-7775 ; 35
Keyword [en]
Oscar Wilde
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
English; Philosophy
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123096ISBN: 978-1-909662-50-6OAI: diva2:871527
Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-16 Last updated: 2016-06-10Bibliographically approved

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