Sandra Leonard (Kutztown University)
Whether he parodied, plagiarized, appropriated, translated, borrowed, or critiqued, Oscar Wilde’s work contains a web of references that vigorously engages with the voices of others. The way Wilde spoke with and through his sources may reveal not only his own influences and allegiances, but also aspects of larger conversations within late Victorian culture involving artistic production, Decadence, theater, journalism, scholarship, poverty, gender issues, sexuality, prison reform, and more.
This roundtable seeks out fresh perspectives and discoveries of Wilde’s intertextuality, influences, and conversations particularly among lesser-appreciated voices within his milieu. Wilde’s interactions with contemporary voices such as Whistler, Ruskin, Pater, Shaw, Beardsley, Whitman, Stevenson, Rossetti, and Ibsen might be considered as well as less-studied authors and artists such as Corelli, Schreiner, Nesbit, Robins, Reade, Gissing, Stenbock and many others. Roundtable participants may also consider ways Wilde has since been the subject of adaptations, appropriations, and forgeries, extending these conversations beyond the bounds of his own lifetime. Oscar Wilde remains a major figure of academic study and popular fascination who strove in his day to engage in challenging conversations and highlight important and often lesser-known voices through his editorship of Women’s World and his own reviews; this roundtable seeks to better understand and further engage in this project.